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Warriors win classic volleyball semifinal

Just a couple more points from the other side, and maybe the Liverpool girls volleyball season is done, and Dee Darley begins her retirement from coaching.

But the Warriors would not let that happen, and in a five-game epic held off no. 3 seed Oswego in Tuesday night's Section III Class AA semifinal, advancing to the Nov. 11 championship match.

Liverpool will try and take the AA crown from top seed Baldwinsville, who swept Cicero-North Syracuse in its semifinal and has not even lost a game in 17 matches, including a sweep over the Warriors back on Sept. 23.

That remained Liverpool's lone defeat of the season going into the semifinal with Oswego -- and it took quite a comeback for that ledger to remain with one loss.

In a conventional first game, the Warriors prevailed 25-18, but things turned around when the Buccaneers pulled out a tight second game 25-23 to pull even. In the third game, which proved just as close, it went beyond the wire, and again Oswego got the last two points, winning 27-25 to seize a 2-1 advantage in games.

Staring at the end of its season, Liverpool fought back and pulled out the fourth game 25-21 to send the match to the wire. In that last game, both sides had match points -- but at 24-24, the Warriors gained the serve, then won 26-24.

Jenna Street, with 23 assists, nine blocks and four kills, showed terrific versatility, while Emily Dumas also earned 23 assists.

Up front, Aubrey Barrett led with 14 kills and four blocks, while Dakota Forell earned 11 kills. Lyteshia Price and Tiara Gray each got nine kills, with five combined blocks, as Anna Daucher earned seven blocks and four kills.

For the most part, the Bucs had two players doing most of the heavy lifting, as Vanessa Sheffield put together 36 kills, fed by Krisi Stemple, who had 57 assists. Jasmine Davis (nine kills) and Morgan Lavner (six kills) offered help.

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