Nov 21, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Nearly a decade and a half of work by the Baldwinsville girls volleyball program has culminated with the team’s first-ever state Class AA championship.
The Bees, denied at the state tournament each of the last two years, finally broke through Sunday at Glens Falls Civic Center, twice coming from behind to beat Webster Schroeder in a five-game classic to earn the state title.
B’ville and Schroeder, the Section V champions from the Rochester area, had made it through Saturday’s round-robin play – the Bees going 5-1, the Warriors 4-2. They had split two games head-to-head, so it was little surprise that the final would prove to be a close one.
Schroeder gradually took control in the first game, then used a sustained run to pull away from the Bees and win 25-17, the sort of one-sided defeat B’ville had rarely dealt with all season, even in tournaments.
Yet the Bees did not get too rattled. Shaking off that defeat, it took the lead in the second game, then fended off all kinds of charges from the Warriors. When Paulina Rein put away back-to-back kills, B’ville won 26-24, and evened the match at one game apiece.
The third game proved just as close. Again, B’ville went out in front. Again, Schroeder fought back, pulling even at 22-22, then taking advantage of a few mistakes from the Bees to prevail by that same 26-24 margin, regaining the lead.
In a totally new position, B’ville again struck back during the fourth game, bolting to a 10-2 lead as Rein, Allegra Bell and Sydine Hamm dominated on the front line. And this time the Bees held on (a pair of late kills from Emily Walser helped) and prevailed, 25-21, so the match – and the championship – rested on one final game.
B’ville was ready for it. With the score 9-8, the Bees reeled off four straight points on Brianna Stewart’s serve. From there, the Bees pulled away as Erica Miller’s closing kill sealed a 25-17 victory – and the state championship
Overall, Stewart accumulated 56 assists and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. Rein, the tournament MVP, had 16 kills and four blocks. Hamm led the front line with 17 kills, adding 12 digs as Miller got 15 kills. Libero Becca Maher earned 16 digs and Sarah Klaben also earned 12 digs.
B’ville’s success under head coach Mary Jo Cerqua (who won her 400th match earlier this season) dates back to the sectional title won in 1996. All told, the Bees have gained 13 sectional championships in 15 years, and since moving to a fall schedule in 2006 have made three straight trips to Glens Falls for the state tournament.
And this time, unlike the early elimination in 2008 and the finals defeat in 2009, B’ville finished in front.
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