Baldwinsville's first trip to the girls state volleyball tournament was a success, even if the Bees didn't take home first prize.
Section VI champion Lancaster swept B'ville in three games to win the class AA championship Saturday in Glens Falls. But the Bees shed few tears -- not after surviving a tough four-team field in pool play to reach the finals in their first appearance.
"We're happy we made it to the state finals," said head coach Mary Jo Cerqua. "All the hard work and energy that we put into the program was all worth it."
The Bees had a promising start in last Friday's pool play by sweeping Section XI champion Ward Melville 25-19, 25-18, but they lost their two games to Lancaster 26-24 and 25-20, which left them with a daunting task -- sweep Section IV power Horseheads, or go home.
B'ville took it to Horseheads in the first game with a 25-16 victory, but the second game didn't start well for the Bees. Horseheads built a 7-1 lead and survived a pair of Baldwinsville rallies to build a 17-11 advantage.
Knowing a loss would lead to a one-game playoff to determine Lancaster's opponent in the championship match, B'ville got its act together. The Bees roared back to tie the game at 24 and then scored three of the final four points to pull out a 27-25 victory.
"Once we started getting our serve receive going and started passing the ball well, we started playing better," said Cerqua.
B'ville's 4-2 record earned the Bees a championship match meeting with Lancaster, and they were hopeful that they could challenge the Redskins like they did in pool play.
But B'ville quickly learned that Lancaster had no intention of enduring any more close games. Led by senior outside hitter Danielle Martzolf and senior setter Lindsey Schlegl, the Redskins roared to a three-game sweep by scores of 25-18, 25-10 and 25-12.