Baldwinsville On the brink of seeing its season end, the Baldwinsville boys volleyball team pulled out of trouble and will live to see at least one more match in 2011.
The no. 2 seed Bees made two different comebacks to beat no. 3 seed Cicero-North Syracuse in five sets in a tense, action-filled Section III Class AA semifinal Wednesday night at the Baker High School gym.
And by doing so, B'ville advances to meet top seed Oswego in the championship match next Wednesday at the CNS gymnasium at 8 p.m, immediately following the girls Class AA final.
B'ville seemed to have every conceivable edge going into the semifinal. Not only were the Bees playing at home, it had beaten CNS three times this fall, each one of them a three-set sweep.
Perhaps the Northstars remembered that, too, and promptly dumped B'ville 25-14 in the first set of this playoff clash. The Bees were stunned, to be sure, but quickly rebounded and won the second set 25-16 to pull even.
Again, CNS looked to take control when it won the third set 25-16. Again, B'ville rallied, moving within a couple of points of defeat before pulling out the fourth set 25-23.
So the entire season rode on the fifth and final set. Though CNS had some good moments, B'ville had more of them and, by a 25-21 margin, claimed its spot in the championship round.
Ryan Shelton backed up his 40 assists with three kills, two aces and four digs. Up front, Ryan Zbikowski led with 17 kills, while Shawn Calnan managed 10 kills. Kevin Drain, with eight kills, and Anthony DiMarco, with six kills, also made solid contributions as Zach Cochran added four kills. Jordan Hughes led B'ville's defense with eight digs.
In defeat, CNS saw Billy Werksman pound out 21 kills, fed by Justin Collins' passes as Collins earned 36 assists. Joel Brousseau (seven kills) and Alex Brodhead (six kills) helped out.
B'ville now will try and knock off an Oswego team that beat them twice this season, On Sept. 21 in a three-set sweep and again Oct. 17 in a four-set decision.