Nov 10, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
And so the sweep is complete – no, make that many different sweeps.
When the Baldwinsville girls volleyball team finished off Liverpool Wednesday night in the Section III Class AA final at Cicero-North Syracuse’s gymnasium, it completed a second consecutive year where it did not lose a single game to any Central New York opponent.
At the same time, B’ville provided the exclamation point to the school’s extraordinary feat of seeing five teams (in girls soccer, field hockey, football, boys soccer and girls volleyball) and one individual (cross country runner Shaun Thompson) earn sectional championships in a span of six days.
Of course, none of those teams have dominated for as long as the volleyball Bees, but head coach Mary Jo Cerqua said the winning feeling “never gets old. It’s a big deal for us, and a big deal for the school.”
B’ville simply refused to surrender any game at any time, and this despite the fact that it had just four players back from the 2009 squad that performed the same feat on its way to the same final. That quartet – Brianna Stewart, Allegra Bell, Paulina Rein and Sydniee Hamm – led the way again.
“The main thing (that keys our success) is that we are all like a family, and we all work hard to be our best,” said Stewart. “We practice hard (too), and that shows on the court.”
Indeed, Stewart was in top form on this night against Liverpool, recording 30 assists, an average of 10 assists per game. “She leads with her play calling and she’s a quarterback for us,” said Cerqua.
Up front, Rein finished with 12 kills, adding eight digs. Hamm had seven kills, while Sarah Klaben played superb defense, earning nine digs. Emily Walser contributed five kills and three aces, while libero Becca Maher was superb on the back line and Liz Giromini offered up a series of big serves that led to long point runs.
B’ville broke out of a 4-4 tie in the first game by going on an 8-1 run, the first of many big spurts that included a 6-0 streak near the end of a comfortable 25-14 decision. Only in the second game did any real danger pop up, as Liverpool took a 6-3 lead, only to have the Bees reel off seven straight points on Walser’s serve to move in front for good and eventually prevail 25-18.
The third game mirrored the first, with an early 4-4 deadlock, followed by a B’ville breakout when, up 11-8, it reeled off 10 of the next 11 points, closing out the match – and the sectional championship – with a 25-12 romp.
Now the Bees moved on to face the Section II champions (Bethlehem or Shenendehowa) Saturday at Union College in Schenectady, where it pulled off another sweep, beating the Plainswomen 25-9, 25-6, 25-11. Hamm had 10 kills, with Klaben adding three kills and Stewart recording 26 assists.
So B’ville is back in Glens Falls for the state championships, participating in a round robin with Horseheads, Webster Schroeder, Arlington and Lindenhurst on Saturday, the two survivors advancing to Sunday’s championship match.
Cerqua said this team could take that final step to the top.
“We have been close before,” she said. “But if they can continue what they’ve been doing on the defensive side, they can win any championship.”