After a grueling, five-game victory over Fayetteville-Manlius in last week's Section III Class AA championship, the Baldwinsville girls volleyball team made quick work of Section II champ Ballston Spa.
Lauren Hartman had 10 kills and Kelsey Klopfer added 28 assists to lead a balanced Bees attack in a three-game sweep of the Scotties at last Saturday's class AA regional in Queensbury near Glens Falls.
Baldwinsville head coach Mary Jo Cerqua said the key was setting a fast pace and not allowing Ballston Spa's 6-foot, 3-inch senior Casey Wright to dominate the net.
"We knew we needed to run a quick game because they're a good defensive team, and we had to stop Casey Wright" said Cerqua.
The strategy worked well. B'ville jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the first game on its way to a 25-19 victory and never let up as it won the final two games by scores of 25-14 and 25-17.
"It's very important to keep momentum on your side," said Cerqua. "It was very tough when Casey (Wright) was in the front row, but we got a lot of points when she was in the back."
Besides Hartman and Klopfer, the Bees received contributions from several players.
Erika VanValkenburg had nine kills, Amanda Kershner chipped in five kills and three aces and Gabriella Nieves added six kills. Michelle Lesser also had five kills, and Kaitlin Maher and Heather Crawford combined for five aces.
Baldwinsville returns to Glens Falls this weekend for the state tournament. The Bees will play three round-robin matches Friday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. If they emerge with one of the top two records at the end of the day, they will play for the state title Saturday.
"We are so excited to be there," said Cerqua. "It's an amazing experience for us. This is the first year we've played in the fall. To be in the final four is amazing."