Nov 23, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For the second time in three years, the Baldwinsville girls volleyball team made it all the way to the state Class AA championship match, only to be denied the ultimate prize.
This time around, it was Canandaigua that got in the Bees’ way, the Braves prevailing in four games during the Nov. 22 AA title match at Glens Falls Civic Center, the same venue where B’ville lost to Lancaster in the 2007 state finals.
So culminated a two-day tournament where B’ville saw its perfect run come to a halt early, yet still recovered to handle all of the tournament competition — only to see one of them get payback at the end.
Through 19 matches going into Glens Falls, the Bees had not dropped a single game, 57 in all, a fact that made them one of the pre-tournament favorites.
The show began with a round-robin format on the afternoon of Nov. 21, with B’ville facing three foes — Pine Bush (Section IX), Canandaigua (Section V) and Ward Melville, from Long Island.
It began with Pine Bush, who finally broke B’ville’s long games streak by prevailing 25-13. Stunned into stepping up its game, the Bees answered with a 25-18 second game to gain a split. Paulina Rein had six kills, with Lauren McVey and Jenna Blujus each getting five kills. Breanna Stewart earned seven assists, matching Blujus.
B’ville’s first encounter with Canandaigua followed, and it went quite well as it gained a 25-18, 25-21 sweep as Blujus upped her total to 14 assists, adding five kills. Stewart got nine assists as McVey (nine kills) and Rein (six kills) led the front line.
When the Bees met Ward Melville, it rolled through the first game 25-14, then survived a tough second game 29-27 to advance to the finals. Blujus needed 12 kills and 13 assists, as Stewart put up 19 assists. McVey picked up eight kills.
Canandaigua had only gone 3-3 in round-robin play, and had to win a playoff over Ward Melville just to make the final against B’ville. Every indicator — from the early sweep to the Braves’ own struggles — seemed to point toward the Bees claiming that last match of the season.
Yet it was the Braves that stepped up in the opening game, bolting out 15-7 and never getting caught on its way to an easy 25-15 win. Showing vast improvement in its defense against the Bees’ tough serves, Canandaigua also fended off a late B’ville rally to take the second game by a 25-22 margin.
On the brink of getting swept, the Bees scraped together a 27-25 win in the third game and had the fourth game tied at 23-23. Just as the match was about to be pushed to the limit, though, Canandaigua won back the serve and got the match point to make it 25-23 and claim the state championship.
Overall, Stewart had 30 assists, feeding it to McVey, who had 14 kills, and Blujus, who had 13 kills, five blocks and three aces. Canandaigua saw Kym Gordon earn 19 kills and seven blocks on the front line, with Liz Scott adding 14 kills and 10 digs. Marissa King had 45 assists.