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.