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Marcellus volleyball drops close Class B final again

The calendar had changed, from 2006 to 2007. So had the opponent, with Mount Markham filling the role Cazenovia once served.

Yet for the Marcellus girls volleyball team, the result was sadly familiar -- a close and painful defeat in the Section III Class B championship match.

This five-game classic, held last Wednesday night at Jamesville-DeWitt, featured two different rallies by Marcellus to force the matter to a fifth game before that other breed of Mustangs pulled out in front for good.

Already the Class B-1 champions after a sweep of Skaneateles on Feb. 17, Marcellus had met Mount Markham before in tournament play, with mixed results, so it knew the challenge it faced.

Each of the first two games was tight. Mount Markham led through much of the opener, then watched Marcellus tie it, 23-23, before regaining the serve and holding on to win 25-23 and the early edge in the match.

Just the same, the second game saw the Mustang teams trade the lead often and go beyond the wire. This time, it was Marcellus that made the last move, pulling out the game 27-25 to draw even.

A bit of convention returned in the third game, when Mount Markham's margin held up and it won, 25-18. Again, Marcellus came right back, dominating the fourth game by a 25-7 margin.

So Marcellus was in the fifth game, just like it was with Cazenovia in the '06 final. And just like that classic, this finale saw a full supply of emotion shifts.

Only at the end did Marcellus, tied 22-22, make the slip, allowing Mount Markham to get the last three points and win the championship, 25-22.

Lauren Fletcher nearly carried her side to victory, piling up 33 kills and 15 blocks. Kayla Howard added seven kills and four blocks, while Jenn Daley served both of them with 40 assists.

Mount Markham had numerous stars on this night. Malissa Hagerty backed up her eight kills with 21 digs to keep points alive, while Gina Frugia had 16 kills, three blocks and two aces, while Tracy Lynk (18 assists) and Caitlyn Furuggia (12 assists) split the work on the back line.

Four seniors depart after this 19-2 season, including Kailyn Winoski and Kayla Linder. But with Fletcher, Daley, Kayla Howard, Sarah Clere, Kassie Philips, Rebecca Eddy and Rachael Eddy among the returnees in 2007-08, Marcellus will expect a championship run again.

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