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.