Albion had a perfect first N-O League volleyball championship season

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 24 December 2020 at 9:03 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Alexis Bouie, shown here in action for the University at Buffalo, helped lead Albion to its first N-O volleyball title in 1999.

Ending a 25 year title drought Albion captured its memorable first Niagara-Orleans League volleyball championship in 1999 and the Purple Eagles did it in dominating fashion by going 14-0.

Albion finished the N-O campaign five matches ahead of runners-up Barker and Medina, both at 9-5.

Leading the Purple Eagles was the senior first team N-O All-League trio of Alexis Bouie, Markeya Drisdom and Janie Howard.  Bouie who was named the N-O League’s MVP, went on to play Division 1 college volleyball at the University at Buffalo.

Coach Ann Capacci’s roster also included seniors Jill Hart, Jody Kelly, Aline Lyra, Stacey Pinopoulos, Megan Szyikowski along with juniors Kelly McGaffick, Lisa Persia, Lysa Woolston and sophomores Sarah Meisner and Erica Passarell.

It took a tense come-from-behind five set win over Roy-Hart (11-15, 15-11, 14-16, 15-11, 15-10) to complete the perfect league campaign.

The Purple Eagles also had to go five sets two other times earlier in the season trimming rival Medina 15-7, 12-15, 15-8, 8-15, 15-6 and Barker 7-15, 15-10, 8-15, 16-14, 15-12.

Albion’s previous best finish over the first 25 years of the N-O league came in 1996 when the Purple Eagles finished second at 11-3 to undefeated champion Roy-Hart (14-0).

It did not take Albion 25 years to claim another N-O title as the Purple Eagles captured the championship in 2009 sharing the crown with Roy-Hart at 11-1.

In fact, Albion went on to capture the N-O crown outright four of the next six years going 12-0 in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015.