FULTON — Another installment of the Oswego-Fulton rivalry concluded Tuesday with a varsity girls volleyball matchup.
The Red Raiders swept the Buccaneers in straight sets, 25-13, 25-18, 25-17.
Just two years removed from a clash between the two teams in the Section III Class A semifinals, Fulton coach Jessica Frost said the magnitude between the teams has died down a bit.
“It’s just not as intense as it used to be,” she said. “A couple years ago, there was just that feeling in the air, but I don’t feel it as much now.”
But as opponents in the Salt City Athletic Conference, the teams play against each other twice a year. Even though the rivalry has simmered, Oswego coach Tom Grover said the Bucs are “always out for Fulton.”
“We know them very well. They know us very well,” he said. “It definitely plays a factor in the game as a whole.”
Both teams traded points early in the first set before the Raiders started to pick up a couple extended point streaks. Natalie Frost started the first run after a kill, followed by an ace. Tesa Galvin also added a kill during the five-point streak.
The Bucs got one point back after Alexa Kuzawski recorded a kill. Oswego had an ensuing long serve, giving the serve right back to the Raiders. Galvin started another long run, earning Fulton nine consecutive points. During the run, Galvin tacked on an ace.
With strong serving, which saw three aces from Fulton, the Raiders took the first set 25-13.
“We started off slow,” Jessica Frost said. “For me, as a coach, I felt like we weren’t playing clean volleyball. There was a lot of scrambling going on. We’ve got to work on cleaning it up earlier.”
The Bucs clawed back early in the second set, leading throughout the first half with several back-to-back points. Fulton got a couple smaller streaks going again, starting with Addison Pickard, who recorded an ace.
While Oswego only trailed 19-17 in the latter stages of the set, a five-point streak put the game out of reach with an ace from Sydney Sachel, a tip from Pickard and a deep kill from Natalie Frost. Vanessa Ferlito got one point back for the Bucs, but a Riley Kempston kill ended the set 25-18.
“That’s our expectation, to play like we did in the second set,” Grover said. “Unfortunately we didn’t show up in the first and third. It’s a learning experience.”
Even though Oswego earned the first point of the third set off a long serve from Pickard, Fulton took a large 6-1 lead with a run from Joann LeVea. She recorded an ace, and Galvin added another kill in the process.
Kempston followed that up with a seven-point run, including back-to-back aces and a couple kills from Natalie Frost and Galvin.
Later in the set, with Fulton just a couple points away from the sweep leading 23-10, the Bucs didn’t go down quietly. Megan Corrice started a small run, to push the score to 23-15. A couple more points from Oswego gave the team 17 points, but a short serve ended the match, with Fulton taking the set 25-17.
“We still need to work on (finishing) and reading the hit, knowing what’s going on and what’s coming at you,” Jessica Frost said. “We’ve just got to get that serve in and over so we can play defense around it then keep playing.”
Natalie Frost led Fulton with 10 digs, nine kills and two aces. Sachel added 15 assists, eight digs, two aces and a kill. Kempston tacked on four kills, three aces, two digs and an assist. Pickard chipped in 11 digs, three aces, two assists and a kill. LeVea had seven digs, two aces and an assist.
Oswego’s Ferlito had 16 assists in the match. Kuzawski added five kills and an ace. Monae Fenty chipped in four digs and an ace. Halia Trapasso had two aces and two digs. Riley King tacked on four kills.
However, what hurt Oswego were the errors upon itself, with several volleys that went out of bounds, or short spikes that hit the net. Grover said the team, which had a match scheduled against Auburn Wednesday, followed by a home contest against Cortland on Monday, would be working on “cleaning up fundamental stuff,” such as serving or approaches to hits.
“Smart volleyball is good volleyball. We don’t have to put down the ball like (Natalie Frost),” Grover said. “We just have to place the ball where they’re not.”
Fulton is back in action today with a contest against Central Square, before taking on Jamesville-DeWitt Monday.
Jessica Frost mentioned that even though the intensity has gone down between Oswego and Fulton, J-D has taken that spot of “that big rivalry.”
She mentioned that the team has to work on recognizing what the opposing team is doing so that the team isn’t “surprised” when it crosses over the net.
“That’s the team we get all spazzy with and freak ourselves out with,” she said. “We’ve got to practice that same thing. Reading the hit. Where’s it going? Calling the ball. Talking more often, especially when it gets crazy and the ball is all over the place. Just cleaning up our play.”