Penfield boys volleyball rallies to win second straight state title

Penfield has found ways to win boys volleyball matches in remarkable ways all year and Saturday’s state championship was no different.

In the fifth set of the final match, the Patriots found themselves down 11-6 and then 14-11, one point away from losing the Division I title to Shenendehowa.

The Patriots didn’t allow it, rattling off four straight points and ending the match on a Jett Klintworth ace to win the fifth set 19-17 and the Division I championship for the second year in the row.

Penfield held off Shenendehowa 25-18, 17-25, 25-15, 18-25, 19-17.

Penfield head coach Mike Fusare said he thought this year’s team had a chance to repeat from the beginning of the season.

“I said last year it was an 18-person effort and I knew I had some really good players on this year’s team,” Fusare said. “I felt like if everything came together they could make a run.”

 NBD – rallied again from behind, 11-6 and 14-11 in 5th set before winning, 19-17!  What a remarkable team

Klintworth, Jordan Hildreth, Josh Coan, Joe Farruggia were on the All-Tournament team for Penfield.

In pool play earlier in the day, the Patriots defeated Eastport-South Manor in two sets and split the two-set match with Shenendehowa.

Penfield takes a lot of pride in winning the title for the Rochester area.

“We’re extremely proud to represent Section V because it’s so difficult to get out of,” said Fusare. “They felt like they were carrying the flag for the section.”

The seniors on the team had to wait until this year to see meaningful playing time. They were behind the older players in past years but Fusare said they still played a pivotal role in both championships.

“I think they learned a lot about success from last year’s team,” Fusare said. “They understood their role and made that team better. The culture in this program is about the success of the program. People aren’t worry about personal gain.”

Penfield boys volleyball rallies to extend season

The defending state champion Penfield Patriots boys volleyball team rallied after losing its first set to win 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-23) against Lockport-VI in the Division I Far West Regional playoffs at Webster Schroeder on Saturday.

Three days after coming from two games back and beating McQuaid in the fifth set in the sectional championships, the Patriots seemed emotionally drained according to Fusare.

“That match had an effect on this match for us,” Fusare said. “We were down 16-8 in and pulled it within two in the first set. All four games were decided by four or five points. We thought we were mentally prepared for what Lockport was going to do, we just didn’t execute as crisply as we would’ve like to.”

Jordan Hildreth and Josh Coan led the Patriots (20-1) offense with 15 and 13 kills, respectively while Joe Farruggia finished with 35 assists.

Penfield will play a pool-play semifinal at Suffolk Community College on Long Island on Saturday, Nov. 18. The top-two teams from that pool-play will meet for the Division I state championship the same day.

Penfield comes from behind to beat McQuaid for boys volleyball title

The defending Division I boys volleyball state champion Penfield Patriots came from behind to win the Section V Class A title Wednesday night.

After dropping the first two sets to the No. 1 seeded McQuaid Knights, Penfield won the championship in the fifth, 15-11, in a rematch of last year’s title battle at Webster Schroeder on Wednesday.

McQuaid (18-1) looked to have a handle on the match, winning the first two sets with ease, 25-21, 25-21.

Nathan Hwang led the Knights’ powerful offense with 36 assists, seven digs and four blocks.

“I’m telling them that we need to get back into system,” Penfield coach Mike Fusare said. “We were out of system the first two game,s just not doing things we’re characteristically known to do: not sealing blocks and not defending around the edges. We just weren’t doing those things and we got into the system in game three and rolled with it in game four and five.”

Penfield, a team that lost every single starter from last year’s championship team, won the third set 25-22 and the Patriots didn’t stop there. Penfield continued to stun McQuaid and everyone in the Webster Schroeder gym winning the fourth set 25-15 after allowing the Knights to get off to a 6-2 start.

Josh Coan finished with 14 kills, Jordan Hildreth chipped in with 10 kills to lead the way for the Patriots (19-1).

The sudden-death fifth set started back-and-forth until the Patriots slowly began to pull away.

“I think most of (winning the fifth set) was aggressive serving and in system defensively,” Fusare said.

In the match point tournament MVP Jett Klintworth, who finished with 13 kills, sealed the deal with the game-winning spike to claim the fifth 15-11.

The Patriots will face a Section VI representative at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Webster Schroeder in the state tournament’s Far West Regionals.

Penfield (19-1): Josh Coan 14 kills; Jeff Klintworth 13 kills; Jordan Hildreth 10 kills; Joe Faruggia 31 assists; Jake Fusare, Jake Heidman 4 digs.

McQuaid (18-1): Tyler Bergeron 18 kills; Nathan Hwang 36 assists, 7 digs, 4 blocks.


Penfield Boys win state volleyball title

The Penfield boys volleyball team walked into the gym Aug. 17 with three goals: to win sectionals, to win regionals, and to win the state title.

On Saturday, the Patriots completed their list and won the Division I state title against Smithtown West-XI.

“A group of young men won today, but it was all the players in the program,” 21-year coach Mike Fusare said. “They worked so hard together, are all so close, and all of us won the championship today.”

Penfield won the final match 25-15, 25-18, 25-22, and state Tournament MVP Jack Bittker notched 40 kills on the day.

 “The recognition feels good, but sharing this moment with my teammates is even better,” Bittker said.

Jordan Solomon, Peter Klembczyk and Andy Scott were also named to the All-Tournament Team. Solomon had 95 assists, Klembcyzk added 45 digs, and Scott kicked in 20 kills for Penfield

“People only see the results on the floor,” Fusare said, “You don’t see what goes on in practice, but they’re dedicated kids who put the work in.”

It’s Patriots Game

Penfield wins Class A volleyball title over McQuaid

No more denials for Penfield boys volleyball.

The Section V Class A championship that has eluded the Patriots, more like been denied them by McQuaid each of the previous two years, arrived Thursday after defeating the defending state champion Knights in five sets at Webster Schroeder.  Players and coaches confirmed the reality by kissing the base of the block-like trophy.

“It’s a feeling of pure ecstasy, I’ve never felt anything like this,” Penfield senior Jack Bittker said. “To do it with guys I’ve known since I was 12, (working and wanting) every single day, they are my best friends.

“There is no better feeling in the world.”

Penfield will participate in the state regional round at noon Saturday at Orchard Park, after beating McQuaid, 25-15, 16-25, 18-25, 25-22 and 25-16. The Patriots face Clarence, champion of the Buffalo-region, for a place in the state championship weekend at Suffolk County Community College.

 More than 2,200 people watched — it was standing-room only at Webster Schroeder — and part of the Penfield “Birdhouse” student cheering section joined the team on the floor after the clinching point.

“We’ve worked so hard for this,” Penfield senior Jordan Solomon said. “This is my fourth sectional final appearance. Every drop of sweat that hit the floor, every tear came down to this moment and it finally paid off.”

The Patriots remains undefeated at 20-0 after a second victory this season over rival McQuaid. While the teams play in different leagues — McQuaid in the Rochester City Athletic Conference and Penfield in Monroe County — their annual meetings for championships have added spice to the rivalry.

Partriot Men win at Brighton

9/25/13-  The Penfield Patriots moved to 7-0 with a convincing win over the defending Class B champion Brighton Barons.

The scores were;

Penfield 25-Brighton 12

Penfield 25-Brighton 8

Penfield 25-Brighton 20

Sam Bittker led the way with 15 kills while garret Quiel put up 22 assists.  Corey Wiktorski had a dominant serving performance for the Patriots with several serve runs to help in the win.

Vinnie Gagliardo provided stellar defense play in the back row aiding the team with several big digs.

The Patriot block was at its very best with many big blocks throughout the match.


Penfield will host Brockport Thursday night at Penfield high school.  Match time is 5:45.


Patriots win at Rush Henrietta

9/21/13-  The Penfield Patriots moved to 6-0 with a strong win at Rush Henrietta.

The scores were:

Penfield 25-Rush Henrietta 12

Penfield 25- Rush Henrietta 22

Penfield 25- Rush Henrietta 13

Penfield used several strong serving runs to close out the Royal Comets.

The back court, led by the D specs provided a  great backbone to the team defensively.

Dahnny Rogers, David Maurer and Vinnie Gagliardo provided several key digs to fuel the win.

Penfield will travel to Brighton on Tuesday the 24th.  The match time is 4:30.

Penfield defeats Victor in 4 sets

September 17th-  The Penfield Men’s Volleyball team moved to 4-0 on the season with a hard fought win over

the Class B power Victor Blue Devils.  The match lasted 4 sets with the scores being:

Penfield 25-Victor 17

Penfield 25-Victor 21

Victor 25-Penfield 19

Penfield 25-Victor 15

The match consisted of some of the best volleyball of the year for the Patriots as they played strong defense and had their best blocking night of the year.

The Patriots were led by Sam Bittker with 15 kills.  Jon Roat contributed 14 kills.  Corey Wiktorski added 10 more kills.

The Patriots also had an impressive serving night highlighted by Vinnie Gagliardo’s 8 point run in the 4th game to help the team pull away.

The Patriots’ next match is at Webster Schroeder on Wednesday September 19th.

Penfield sweeps West Irondequoit

September 11th- The Penfield Patriots moved to 3-0 with a 25-20, 25-19,25-13 sweep of West Irondequoit.

The Patriots struggled in the 1st set but steadied their serve receive from that point on.  In set 3 the Patriots scored 20 points on serve en route to the sweep.

The Patriots were paced by Senior Outside hitter Sam Bittker with 8 kills.  Jon Roat also tallied 5 kills with Garret Quiel recording 26 assists.

The Patriots next match is a home contest versus the always tough Victor Blue Devils on September 16th.

Penfield Captures Eden Tournament


Penfield Boys after winning the Eden tournament


September 7th- The Penfield Patriots Men’s Volleyball team travelled to Eden NY for the 1st time in 16 years and captured the prestigious Eden tournament with a victory over Fairport in the Finals 25-19, 25-17.
It was a busy day for the Patriots as they went 12-1 in games to capture the title.
The action began with pool play.
The scores:
Penfield over Victor 25-22, 25-22.
Penfield over Canisius 25-12, 25-20
Penfield over Hamburg 25-16, 25-16

In the quarterfinals Penfield defeated Frontier of Buffalo 25-12, 25-20
In the semi final Penfield defeated McQuaid 24-26, 25-15, 15-12.
In the final Penfield defeated Fairport 25-19, 25-17.

Penfield All tournament team members:
Garrett Quiel ( Sr), Jon Roat (Sr)
Most Valuable player: Sam Bittker (Sr)

Coach Hunter inaugurated

Man of the hour

On Sunday August 25, 2013,  Coach Jack Hunter was inducted into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame.  Hunter led the Penfield Boys volleyball team to 11 Section V boys volleyball titles including 7 in a row.  He also coached the boys to an overall 360-26 record and the Penfield girls volleyball teams to a 199-71

2013 Penfield Volleyball teams

2013 Seniors

Current coach Mike Fusare and Legend Jack Hunter

The honoree placing his brick

2013 Boys Varsity Volleyball

2013 Girls Varsity Volleyball

1980’s alumni



2012 Alumni Open gym day

Sectional Final runner ups

November 5, 2012

photos: Penfield Post

WEBSTER— The McQuaid Knights remain the team to beat in Section V — if not New York State — high school boys volleyball.

McQuaid topped Penfield in five games at Webster Schroeder, 17-25, 25-13, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21 to win its third consecutive Section V Class A final.

Penfield won five of the first six points in set one, lost that advantage but soon was ahead by four again and stayed in front.

McQuaid dominated the second set, as the Knights took the first six points and 12 of the first 15.

The pivotal third set began with Penfield able to build a four-point lead, only to have McQuaid come back to get things even. The Knights then went ahead 20-19 and stayed there the rest of the set.

The Patriots had no choice but to win the fourth set, and scratched out leads of 7-3 and 9-5 before they survived a comeback by McQuaid and evened the match.

McQuaid won the first three points of the final set and led 10-5 before a Penfield timeout. The lead was 12-5 when Penfield began to come back.

The Patriots made it to within 23-21 before McQuaid clinched the outcome.

“They played very tough,” Blough said. “We had to fight a lot, they played very tough, put a lot of pressure on us.

“In the end, we made less errors, especially in the fifth set.”

Class A All-Tournament Team: Kevin Gear (Gates Chili), Mitch Kennedy (Fairport), Ethan Dangler (Penfield), Christy Blough (McQuaid), John Sprague (Penfield), Ray Mahar (McQuaid).

Penfield knocks Fairport out of Sectionals

No. 3 Penfield 25-25-17-25, No. 2 Fairport 19-19-25-22

Sam Bittker finished with 13 kills and five digs and John Sprague dished out 38 assists to lead Penfield (18-2).

Jon Roat added 11 kills in the win.

The Patriots, who will play McQuaid for the sectional title for the sixth time in the last nine years, had been swept in the previous two matchups with Fairport (17-3).

Quarterfinal Updates

No. 3 Penfield 27-25-25, No. 6 Rush-Henrietta 25-21-15

Jon Roat finished with 10 kills and Sam Bittker added nine kills for the Patriots (17-2).

Shaun Ermi had 14 kills and three blocks for R-H.

No. 1 McQuaid 25-25-25, No. 9 Hilton 11-19-13

No. 2 Fairport 25-25-25, No. 7 Monroe/Wilson 6-19-18

No. 7 Irondequoit 19-25-25-25, No. 10 Brockport 25-20-21-21

No. 5 East Irondequoit Eastridge 25-25-25, No. 4 Wayne 14-14-20


Sectional Schedules Posted


  • Game 1: #9 Hilton at #8 Edison – Friday, Oct 26 – 5pm


  • Game 2: #9 Hilton at #1 McQuaid – Wed. Oct 31 – 4:30pm
  • Game 3: #5 Webster at #4 Gates – Thurs, Nov 1 – 6pm
  • Game 4: #6 Rush at #3 Penfield – Wed. Oct 31 – 4:30pm
  • Game 5: #7 Monroe-Wilson at #2 Fairport – Wed. Oct 31 – 4:30pm

Semi-Finals at Webster Shroeder HS – Saturday, 11/3/2012

  • Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs Winner of Game 5 – 6pm
  • Game 7: Winner of Game 2 vs Winner of Game 3 – 8pm

Finals at Webster Shroeder HS – Tuesday, 11/6/2012

  • Winner of Game 6 vs Winner of 7 – 8pm

Penfield tops Brighton in boys volleyball


Penfield 16-25-18-25-25  Brighton 25-14-25-18-17

Jon Roat finished with 20 kills to power Penfield to a five-set win over Brighton on Tuesday in Monroe County boys volleyball.

John Sprague added 50 assists,  Nick Denoncourt chipped in 9 kills and 7 blocks and Sam Bittker had 11 digs and 14 kills for Penfield.for the Patriots (15-2).

Each of Penfield’s two losses came to Fairport.

Mike Hansen had 12 kills and three blocks and Michael Rogachefsky added 17 digs for Brighton.

Photos of the match can be viewed here.

Penfield boys volleyball defeats Victor


Penfield  25-20-26-24-25  Victor 22-25-24-26-19.

Corey Wiktorski recorded 12 kills to help Penfield outlast Victor in five sets in a Monroe County boys volleyball match on Monday.

Ethan Dangler added 20 digs for the Patriots (13-2).

Penfield jumped out to a 17-9 lead in the fifth set, but Victor cut its deficit to 18-17 before the Patriots pulled away.

Colin Mahan had 17 kills and Adam Dake finished with 43 assists for the Blue Devils (8-6).

Penfield rallies to beat Brighton in boys volleyball


Penfield 19-25-21-25-25 Brighton – 25-20-25-22-20.

Nick Denoncourt recorded 14 kills as Penfield rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit to defeat Brighton in five sets in Monroe County volleyball Wednesday.

Ben Trageser chipped in 12 kills for the Patriots (10-2).

Mike Hansen finished with 18 kills and four blocks and Riley Damerell added 10 kills for Brighton (11-2).

Webster Tournament Runner Ups…

On Saturday September 29th, the Penfield Varsity boys team competed at the Webster Tournament.  A strong showing earned them a second place finish behind the Orchard Park team.

Final: Orchard Park-VI 25-21-25, Penfield 22-25-22

Semifinals: Orchard Park 25-25, Spencerport 21-16; Penfield 25-26, Fairport 20-24

Quarterfinals: Fairport 25-25, Irondequoit 18-17; Penfield 25-25, Webster 20-13; Spencerport 25-25, St. Francis-VI 21-22.

Pool Play: Orchard Park-VI 5-1; Irondequoit 5-1; Penfield 4-2; St. Francis-VI 3-3; Spencerport 2-4, Webster 2-4; Fairport 0-6.

All-tournament team: Sam Bittker (Penfield), Anthony Macera (Spencerport), Trey Cimorelli (Orchard Park), Jackson Bluhm (Fairport), Jon Roat (Penfield), Kevin Donahue (Orchard Park).

MVP: Tyler Eagleton (Orchard Park).

Penfield falls to Fairport for 1st loss


Fairport 25-25-25, Penfield 18-23-22

Matt Kennedy finished with 27 assists and 10 blocks to power Fairport to a three-set win over Penfield Thursday in Monroe County boys volleyball.
Ryan Sutherland added eight kills and nine blocks as the Red Raiders (4-1) won 25-18, 25-23, 25-22.
Ethan Dangler finished with nine kills and seven digs for Penfield (3-1).

Penfield Coach Fusare achieves milestone


Penfield 25-22-25-25, Gates-Chili 14-25-16-17


300th win

Nick Denoncourt had seven kills and three blocks as Penfield defeated Gates Chili in four sets to give Patriots coach Mike Fusare his 300th career win in Monroe County boys volleyball on Monday.
Corey Wiktorski registered eight kills and John Sprague added 30 assists for Penfield (4-1), which won 25-14, 22-25, 25-16, 25-17.
Fusare, in his 18th year as the Penfield coach, has led the Patriots to sectional titles in 2000, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Jason Brown had nine kills for Gates Chili.

Penfield goes to 7-1


Penfield 25-25-25, East Irondequoit Eastridge 20-9-20

Corey Wiktorski recorded eight kills with two blocks and Garrett Quiel had 10 straight service points in game 2 for Penfield (7-1).

Tyler Blank had eight kills for Eastridge.

Penfield rallies to beat Victor in 5…

Sam Bittker had 17 kills and nine digs as Penfield rallied in the fourth and fifth games to edge Victor in a Monroe County boys volleyball match on Friday.

John Sprague added 52 assists for the Patriots (6-1), who won 20-25, 25-19, 30-32, 25-18, 25-20.

The Patriots trailed 15-13 in the fifth game but sided out and Ethan Dangler served six consecutive points to put them ahead 20-15. Nick Bills had 41 assists and six blocks for Victor (4-3).

2012 Volleyball season is underway

The 2012 Penfield Men’s Volleyball team has begun its season.

Team members this year (l to r):

Front Row: Dave Maurer, John Sprague, Ethan Dangler, Alex Wang, Chris Cooper

Back Row: JV Coach Nick Mickol, Varsity Coach Mike Fusare, Dahnny Rogers, Jon Roat, Will Klajbor, Nick Denoncourt, Sam Bittker, Weston Campbell, Garrett Quiel, Ben Trageser, Jackson Steigerwald, Corey Wiktorski, Varsity Assistant Coach Kyle Gauger

Penfield Stony Brook Trip 2011

The Penfield Men’s volleyball team took it’s annual team building trip to Stony Brook State Park in Dansville NY this past August.  Below are some of the photos.  I will be adding photos as we go through the winter.

2nd Water Falls

2nd Water Falls

Spider Web Initiative

Spider Web Initiative

Penfield Junior Varsity captures the Penfield tournament

The Penfield Junior Varsity boys defeated McQuaid yesterday 30-19 to capture the Penfield Junior Varsity volleyball tournament.  The team finished pool play 8-2.  The team won a qurterfinal match vs Rush Henrietta, followed by a hard fought win over Victor in the quarterfinals.  In the final, the team pulled away from a 16 all tie to secure the win.

All tournament team:  Garrett Quiel, Dahnny Rogers, and Most Valuable Player Sam Bitker.

Penfield rallies to defeat Rush Henrietta


Tom Campbell had 14 kills to lead Penfield to a five-set win over Rush-Henrietta in Monroe County volleyball Monday.


Brian Buggy added 10 kills for the Patriots (13-2), who overcame a two-set deficit to win 19-25, 19-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-22.

Brian Benjamin had 46 assists and nine digs and Marr Cardot added 17 kills for R-H.

Link to photos, courtesy of Lori Roat:

Penfield upends Churchville

A night after losing thier first match of the season, The Penfield Men’s volleyball team responded with a 3 set sweep of Churchville, 25-12, 25-14, 25-20.  The Patriots were led by sophomore Jon Roat with 4 kills, 4 blocks and seven service points.  The Patiots moved their record to 11-1.

In the upcoming week the Patriots are off to Canandaigua on Thursday and then home for a rematch with the Victor Blue devils on Saturday at 2:30.

Pancake Breakfast

The Penfield Men’s Varsity & JV Volleyball teams hosted a pancake breakfast on Saturday, September 24.  Thanks to all the families who sold tickets, flipped pancakes and worked at the ticket desk.  A big thanks to John & Karen Cipro at Don’t Original for loaning us the space & supplies!!

Thanks to Lori Roat for creating a photo album of the event.

Penfield well represented at collegiate level

After thinking about it, I decided to look into the players in our program that have gone on to play at the college level.  Listed below are the players I can think of off of the top of my head.  Feel free to contribute any addtional names by e mailing me at

Fall 2010

Luke Lawatsche  Nazareth


David Evans Stevens College

Matt Sutherland Ball State

Fall 2006,

Kyle Gauger Lees McCrae

Ellis Walsh Nazareth

Fall 2005,

Kevin Kirchhoff  Nazareth

Ben Foster   Endicott University

Fall 2003,

Kyle Giunta Vassar

Fall 2000

Rich Newton Lees McCrae

Fall, 1998

Rick Brazener Juniata

Fall 1997

Kevin Fisher New York University

Fall 1990

John Eisenberg New York University

Fall 1990

Kris McMonagle      Purdue University club team

Fall 1988 

Scott Zanni  Maryland Club team

Fall, 1983 

Greg Kennedy Cornell University

Fall, 1980 

Peter Norman Princeton University


HOBOKEN, N.J. (March 25, 2011) – Seniors Brandt Grobeis and SteFan PremDas each took home first-team All-United Volleyball Conference accolades, while freshman David Evans picked up Rookie of the Year honors, as five Ducks earned all-league recognition in the UVC’s inaugural season.

Coming off a season in which he finished third in the nation in assists per game en route to second-team All-NECVA Metro Division laurels, Grobeis has been equally as impressive and efficient in this, his final season on the Hudson, ranking sixth nationally in assists per set. With 992 helpers on the year, the Livingston, N.J. native has averaged nearly 11 (10.78) assists per set, while recently becoming just the second player in program history to surpass the 4,000-assist plateau.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Week for the week of January 31, Grobeis has registered at least 30 assists in all but two matches this season. The senior co-captain has also cracked the 40-helper mark on 13 occasions, while recording at least 50 assists in four contests, including a 50-assist, six-dig effort against perennial Division III powerhouse Juniata College.

One of the Ducks’ most consistent offensive threats, PremDas followed up his first-team All-NECVA Metro Division honor in 2010 with a first-team UVC selection as a senior. Ranking in the top-20 nationally in both hitting percentage and kills, the Hollywood, Fla. native currently ranks first on the squad in both categories.

PremDas has hit the double-digit kill mark 15 times this season, hammering home a season-high 22 kills in the team’s opener against Hunter College. With a pair of double-doubles to his credit, PremDas registered a season-best .565 hitting percentage against UVC rival SUNY New Paltz.

Ranking 26th nationally in hitting percentage, Landis, a second-team UVC selection, has proven to be a potent threat from the outside. Averaging 2.91 kills and 1.41 digs per set, while hitting .292, he has consistently become one of the Ducks’ top performers. He tallied at least 10 kills in 15 matches, burying a season-high 23 kills against conference foe Medaille College – the highest kill total for any Duck this season. The Sellersville, Pa. native also recorded a season-best .526 hitting percentage against Division I Rutgers-Newark.

A force in the middle, senior Timothy Karl has continued to blossom into one of the squad’s most reliable blockers. Coming off a season in which he finished sixth nationally in blocks per set en route to second-team All-NECVA Metro honors, Karl has continued to impress this season, garnering All-UVC honorable mention praise.

The Williamsville, N.Y. native currently ranks 22nd in the country in blocks per set, having appeared in 24 of the team’s 25 matches this season. The senior middle recorded a season-high six blocks on four occasions this year, twice against ranked opponents Rivier College and New York University, once against Division I New Jersey Institute of Technology and again against the Ducks’ UVC Championship first-round opponent Elmira College.

In his first full season in Cardinal and Gray, Evans has almost immediately made his presence felt, quickly becoming an important contributor in the Ducks’ efforts while earning UVC Rookie of the Year and honorable mention accolades. Averaging 1.70 kills and 1.33 digs per set in Stevens’ 25 matches, he tallied a season-high 17 kills against Baruch College, hitting .424. He also put up 25 kills in a pair of matches against league foe D’Youville College, while 12 spikes against nationally ranked Juniata.

Ellis Walsh, All American

One of our own has been selected to the Division III All American Team.  Ellis Walsh, a member of the 2006 Class A Championship team in Penfield was voted 1st team this week.  Check Out the article from the D and C!

Nazareth’s Ellis Walsh always had an affinity for the arts. Now he’s playing a leading role on the men’s volleyball team. 
Nazareth’s Ellis Walsh always had an affinity for the arts. Now he’s playing a leading role on the men’s volleyball team. / CARLOS ORTIZ staff photographer

Ellis Walsh grew up a performer. The Penfield graduate always had an affinity for the arts and has appeared in more than a dozen plays and musicals.


He flashes a smile when recounting his appearances in Fame and Crazy for You.

Walsh is putting on another show this year, but this time as the leading role on the Nazareth men’s volleyball team.


The 6-foot-6, 235 pound senior leads Division III in hitting percentage (.479) on a Golden Flyers squad that is ranked first in the country in the most recent AVCA poll and will host the Molten Division III Men’s Invitational Volleyball Championship on Friday and Saturday.

Walsh, who was named a first-team Division III All-American on Tuesday, is a quintessential middle blocker, an imposing figure and superb leaper who can dominate a match, but his ascendancy has been rapid.

He didn’t begin playing volleyball until his senior year of high school.


“People look at me and think I’m a jock but I wasn’t really a sports guy,” said Walsh, a business administration major. “I was into plays and did performing arts. I did Hochstein, not athletics. Once I had a growth spurt my shorter friends told me they wish I had my height and I should give sports a try.”

He has done more than take a crack at sports; he’s excelled.


Walsh had 11 kills and the match-winning block as the Golden Flyers overcame four match points to defeat Baruch College in five sets and win the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association title on April 3.

Nazareth (29-3) has ripped off 20 straight wins and plays Carthage (22-10) in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Friday. Defending national champion Springfield (15-13) will play Baruch (34-14) at 5 p.m.

Walsh took up basketball at Penfield as a sophomore and one of his teammates urged him to give volleyball a try as a senior.


“My high school coach (Mike Fusare) really got me into it,” Walsh said. “He was taking a risk by having me playing my first year as a senior. I tried it out and I fell in love with the sport.”

He bided his time as an understudy before blossoming by the season’s end and left an impression on current Nazareth teammate EJ Wells-Spicer during a high school all-star game. “I remember this freak athlete coming into the gym,” said Wells-Spicer, a two-time All Greater Rochester Player of the Year at Midlakes. “The coaches told me to set for him and I look up and his feet are in my face. He’s a great athlete and now he’s turned into more of a volleyball player. It’s pretty amazing what he’s done in three years.”

2009-2010 Photo Gallery

With the season now over, I will be again adding photos and submissions from all years of the program. Please feel free to send anything you have to:

Again, my thanks to the parents, coaches, alumin and friends of this program. It is truly an honor to be a part of such a great group of people.

Penfield captures Regional championship- D & C article

Three straight years the Penfield boys volleyball team advanced to the regional tournament and three straight years it went home without a championship.

The Patriots ended that streak in come-from-behind fashion on Saturday.

Senior outside hitter Matt Sutherland had 31 kills as he led Penfield to a five-game win against Hamburg-VI in the Class A state regional championship at Webster Schroeder.

“I did not want to end my career with four Section V titles but no state championships,” said Sutherland, one of seven seniors on the Patriots’ roster. “This is just so satisfying to be able to shake off the past and get the job done.”

It was the first regional title since 1994 for Penfield, which won 25-21, 17-25, 22-25, 25-20, and 25-17.

“Words cannot do justice to how happy I feel for these boys,” Penfield coach Mike Fusare said. “These boys work so hard and give us everything they have every game and every practice. I am just ecstatic for them and a job well-done.”

Penfield (21-2) won the first game but struggled to establish any consistency in the second and third games as Hamburg surged ahead. The Bulldogs led by as many as eight points in the second game and never trailed. The third game was more back-and-forth, with Penfield taking a brief lead at 19-18, but Hamburg rallied and took seven of the last 10 points.

“There were some worries after that third game but we never got down on ourselves,” Sutherland said. “We have won too much and been through games like that before, so we knew nothing was over until that final point.”

Hamburg took a 19-18 lead in the fourth game but Sutherland had back-to-back kills and sophomore Cody Wiktorski served the final four points to tie the match at 2. Wiktorski had four straight service points in the fifth game and Sutherland had eight kills as Penfield handily won the fifth game to win the title.

“I cannot say enough about this team and the fight we have,” said Wiktorski, who finished with 61 assists. “We came up short the last couple of years in this tournament and we did not want to let down the seniors.”

Senior David Evans had 22 kills and Joe Accorso had 10 kills and nine blocks for the Patriots. Ryan Dangler finished with eight digs and seven kills for Penfield.

“Section V has a lot of great teams and the team that survives through sectionals is very battle-tested,” Fusare said.

Penfield Patriots complete 4-Peat- D & C article

WEBSTER — The blond mohawk that sits atop David Evans’ head symbolizes a good luck charm for Penfield’s volleyball team.

During each of the last three seasons, various members of the Patriots have sported the “do,” and their season has ended with the same result: a sectional championship.

Penfield made it four in a row Tuesday night, sweeping rival McQuaid in three sets at Webster Schroeder to clinch the school’s fourth-consecutive Class A crown.

The second-seeded Patriots (20-2) defeated No. 4 McQuaid (19-3) 25-20, 25-19 and 25-13 and Evans earned MVP honors after his 13-kill performance.

Evans served up 10 straight second-set points to help Penfield rally from an 8-3 deficit and Ryan Dangler, referred to as Penfield’s unsung contributor by Patriots coach Mike Fusare, won five straight in the third to put Penfield up 19-8.

“When I started my run, I just went back there, concentrated and focused on the spot where I was going to serve. Once I started catching fire, I just let it rip,” said Evans, a senior outside hitter and one of 10 Patriots with a mohawk.

“Dangler’s been serving like that all year, and it was almost like we expect that from him. He came through in the clutch.”

Setter Cody Wiktorski had 36 assists and served the last two points of set three for Penfield, which will square off against five other sectional champions in regionals Saturday morning at Schroeder. The top two teams from pool play will advance into the finals.

“I didn’t have to work that hard to get the ball to our hitters, and that’s always a good thing as a setter,” said Wiktorski, a sophomore. “It’s awesome, there’s nothing better than this, and to beat McQuaid, one of our biggest rivals, you couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The Patriots, fresh off a third-place regional finish in 2008, had to deal with adversity this year. After not having lost to a Section V opponent since 2006 — a span of 50-plus wins — the Patriots lost back-to-back contests to Rush-Henrietta and Victor, but Evans said those losses inspired Penfield.

It showed, as Penfield won its 12th consecutive set in a sectional final.

“Those losses were the turning points of our season,” Evans said. “We had to go back in the gym and practice as hard as we can, because we’re not just going to have sectionals handed to us.”

These perennial powers have met in five of the last six title games: McQuaid bested Penfield in 2004 and 2005 while Penfield defeated the Knights for the championship in 2006, 2008 and this year.

“David Evans is extremely deserving of MVP, because (his service run) in Game 2 was the turning point in the match,” McQuaid coach Christopher Parks said. “We were up on them and had them on the ropes and our guys were ready to pounce and David went back and rattled off his serving run.”

Besides Evans, Penfield had two others selected to the all-tournament team: Wiktorski and Sutherland. The rest of the team included Gabe Cartagena (Rush-Henrietta), Paul Syta (Fairport) and Steve Lodico (McQuaid).

Mobile Edition

A mobile edition of this website is now available.  Simply visit the site from any mobile device (BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, etc.) and the mobile version will automatically be displayed for you.  You are also able to exit the mobile edition and view the standard page.  Enjoy!

Submit Content

If you have content or information you would like to see here, please go to the contact page and email Coach Fusare. He is currently looking for as much information as possible to post. Pictures, video, news clippings and web information are all welcome.