close as they come
Butler boys squeak past Seneca
By Derek Pyda
Eagle Staff Writer
BUTLER TWP - There are a lot of high school volleyball matches between two evenly matched teams.
But few end up as closely contested as this one.
After dropping the first game to Seneca Valley, the Butler boys team rallied for three straight wins, all of them nip-and-tuck, for a 24-26, 28-26, 26-24, 25-23 victory Tuesday night at Butler High.
The win gives Butler (6-1, 4-1) sole possession of second place in Section 2-AAA.
On a night when each point proved crucial to the match's outcome, Butler's final tally was never actually played.
With the Golden Tornado leading the fourth game 24-23, Seneca Valley coach Jeff Beavers began to argue the previous point, which was awarded to Butler.
The official on the far side of the net warned Beavers, but the coach continued to argue with her.
Finally, Beavers was ejected from the game. After he left the gym, both officials checked the rulebook. Apparently, if a team's coach is thrown out of the game, the opposing team is awarded one point, which gave the game and the match to the Golden Tornado.
"I'm not sure what happened at the end there," said Beavers. "You'd have to ask the officials."
But the officials were long gone by that point.
Despite the confusing ending, it was the heated action within the match itself that stole the show.
Butler came back from 19-13 and 16-10 deficits in the second and third games, respectively, to put itself up 2-1.
"This team has been in a lot of close games this season," said Butler coach Lew Liparulo. "The kids have confidence and they don't quit. That's the bottom line."
Junior setter Shawn Vincent tallied 33 assists in the win, while teammate Zack Wilms totaled seven aces and Chris Erdos had 12 kills.
Senior middle hitter Drew Snyder had 13 kills for the Raiders (4-3, 3-2) and Adam Beebe had 12.
"We expected a close match coming in," said Beavers. "It was two evenly matched teams. The biggest difference is that Butler is a senior-laden team whereas we start five sophomores."
Needing to win the fourth game to stay alive, the Raiders fell behind 9-5. But four service points from Mike Emling helped SV pull ahead at 14-12.
The Raiders led as late as 23-22, but Chris Falbo's kill tied the score and gave the serve back to Butler.
Junior Ryan Collins served up one point, the point that set into motion the confrontation between Beavers and the official.
The Golden Tornado's junior varsity team also prevailed by scores of 25-16 and 26-24.
Butler will host Summit Academy today while Seneca Valley will play again until it travels to Pine-Richland next Tuesday.