In a brief amount of time, the Baldwinsville boys volleyball team has built itself up from obscurity to playing for a Section III Class AA championship.
The Bees, as the no. 2 seed in the AA playoffs, took that giant step to the final last Wednesday night, in front of the home folks in the Baker High School gymnasium, when it beat Central Square in three games.
This match had all kinds of symbolism to it, as the young Bees' program went up against the established Red Hawks -- whose head coach, Kay Barton, was going to retire at the end of the season. Barton had 489 career wins and six boys sectional titles in her 23 seasons coaching both the boys and girls Central Square squads.
Without any sentiment, the Bees got through the crucial part of the match when it won the opening game 25-23, a close battle with many momentum shifts.
Once that was done, though, the Bees took over in the next two games, winning by margins of 25-16 and 25-17 to complete the sweep.
On a balanced and powerful front line, Bob Hennessey and Ray Mertens each had eight kills to lead the Bees' effort. Cameron Brown added seven kills and four blocks, while Jeff Schuster added five kills. Bob Hennessey fed them all with 15 assists, to go with three kills and two aces. Sheldon Paura (13 assists) and Bart Paura (11 kills) led Central Square's effort.
B'ville will face Cicero-North Syracuse or Fayetteville-Manlius in next Wednesday's championship game at CNS, which will be at 6 p.m. and televised by Time Warner Sports Channel 26.