Feb 21, 2007 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
As if the rivalry between Marcellus and Skaneateles was not heated enough, they went out Saturday to decide the Section III Class B-1 girls volleyball championship.
On the same Jamesville-DeWitt court where it saw the crown go away 12 months ago, the Mustangs returned to the top, sweeping the Lakers in three games.
Each side had lots of motivation for this battle. The Mustangs wanted to reclaim the sectional throne it had held for much of the new millennium — six straight years, to be exact – before Cazenovia topped them in 2006.
The Lakers, for its part, wanted its first title since 1998, hoping that its grit and determination would overcome the Mustangs’ talent advantage, as well as the fact that Marcellus had won both regular-season meetings.
Under the tense circumstances, both sides struggled in the opening game. Skaneateles fell behind, 13-6, but steadied itself and, by 15-15, had caught up to Marcellus.
By the late stages, Skaneateles had a 21-19 lead and was poised to put the Mustangs in an early deficit, just as Cazenovia had done in the semifinal round.
However, when the Mustangs got the serve back, it reeled off six unanswered points in the match’s most decisive moment. Rachel Eddy provided five great serves in a row, and by a score of 25-21, Marcellus had a lead it would not relinquish.
In the second game, the two sides were tied, 14-14, before the Mustangs reeled off a 4-0 run to go in front. Despite a slew of mistakes, Marcellus clung to that margin and went up 2-0 in another 25-21 decision.
Marcellus got a lot sharper in the third game, earning the first five points and eventually taking a 25-15 win to close out the sweep — and sew up the B-1 title.
Lauren Fletcher earned 14 kills, five blocks and three aces. Kayla Howard helped out with four kills, as Jenn Daley earned 21 assists.
Skaneateles, in defeat, had Krissy Ryan earn 10 kills and Anna Leiss earn seven kills. In front of them, Brittany Bird had 16 assists, to go with five kills.
Each side took a momentous step to the finals. Skaneateles had to knock off the undefeated no. 1 seed, South Jefferson, while Marcellus needed to work five games and make a remarkable comeback within that battle to knock off defending champion Cazenovia.
In the Lakers’ case, it was a matter of breaking South Jefferson’s spirit. Nearly swept, Skaneateles pulled out the opening game, 29-27, and after dropping the second game 25-21, went beyond the wire in the third game to pull that out, 27-25. The Lakers then rolled through the fourth game, 25-12, to reach the title match.
Meanwhile, at Marcellus, the Mustangs were having a rough time trying to get payback for Cazenovia ending its six-year championship reign in last year’s epic Class B final.
Not only did those other Lakers take the first game 25-17, it built a 16-5 lead in the second game and was threatening to wipe Marcellus out.
However, the Mustangs made a stupendous rally in that game, then swatted off two game points before taking it, 29-27. From there, Marcellus won the third game 25-17, dropped the fourth game 25-14, and dominated the decisive fifth game to take it, 25-13.
On Wednesday night, Marcellus will meet Mount Markham in the overall Class B final at J-D, with the winner to return to that spot Saturday for the season-ending regional playoffs.