Medina spikers have had big N-O title runs

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 17 December 2020 at 2:03 pm

Contributed Photo – Medina’s 1984 Niagara-Orleans League and Section VI Class B championship volleyball team included, in front, Traci Preston, Bridget Hartway, Missy Gaygen and Sherry Tarr. In back are Carol Champlin, Pam Grimes, Wanda Pitts, Megan McGrath, Liz Monell, Kory Holman, Patty Fearby and Coach Scott Grimm.

Of late Akron has ruled the Niagara-Orleans League volleyball courts having captured the last four titles winning outright in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and sharing it with Wilson in 2019.

However, the distinction of having earned the most titles in the nearly 50 year long history of N-O volleyball goes to Medina as the Mustangs have claimed the crown a total of 13 times.

Interestingly most of those championships have come in two big runs. The Mustangs claimed the crown three straight years from 1975-77 and then six in a row from 1984-89.

Medina edged out Newfane and Starpoint for that historic first title in 1975. The Mustangs downed Newfane in straight sets in the league finale to claim the crown. Led by first team All-League honorees Cheryl Schnackel and Teal Meacham, Medina finished at 10-2 while Newfane and Starpoint wound up at 9-3.

The Mustangs made it two in a row by going 13-1 to retain the title in 1976 as Schnackel repeated as a first team All-League honoree.

It took a playoff victory over Newfane for Medina to successfully score a three-peat of the title in 1977. Medina and Newfane finished the regular season deadlocked at 12-2 but the Mustangs claimed the crown with a 16-14, 15-12 win over the Lady Panthers in the playoff match held at Barker. LouAnn Watkins, Pam Root and Robin Cooksey all earned first team All-League honors for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs also captured the Section VI Class BB title in both 1977 and 1978 .

Medina shared the N-O crown with Wilson in 1980 at 12-2 before putting together their record setting run of six straight championships. The Mustangs also claimed the Section VI Class B crown that season.

A perfect 14-0 campaign in 1984 ignited that huge title run as first team All-League honorees Bridget Hartway, Sherry Tarr and Megan McGrath led the way for the Mustangs.

Medina then edged out Starpoint for the 1985 title as the Mustangs finished at 12-2 and the Lady Spartans at 11-3. McGrath and Wanda Pitts both earned first ream All-League honors for the Mustangs.

Medina also captured the Section VI Class B championship in both 1984 and 1985.

Keeping the momentum, Medina went on to claim the N-O crown outright in 1986 going 14-0, in 1987 going 13-1 and in 1988 going 12-2. Wanda Pitts and Joanna Gardner both earned first team All-League honors in 1986 as did Gardner in 1987 and Liz Pitts and Lorraine Johnson in 1988.

Medina’s final year of that reign saw the Mustangs share the N-O crown with Wilson in 1989 as both teams finished at 12-2. Liz Pitts and Camilla Moore both earned first team All-League honors.

Since that lengthy run, Medina also claimed the N-O title outright in 1993 and 1995 and shared the crown with Starpoint in 2000.