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Girls volleyball Bees cruise to another sectional title

B'ville boys drop AA final to Oswego in four sets

— In order to get a shot at back-to-back state Class AA championships, the Baldwinsville girls volleyball team first had to make sure that another Section III title was tucked away.

That didn't turn out to be much of a problem, though, as the Bees earned a three-set sweep of Cicero-North Syracuse in the AA final Wednesday night at the CNS gymnasium.

B'ville was trying to win both the girls and boys sectional championships. The boys Bees put up a spirited effort on its own, but lost in four sets to top seed Oswego.

Having dominated local large-school girls volleyball for a decade and a half, B'ville has appeared, in recent years, to pull further away from its sectional rivals. In both the 2010 and 2011 seasons, it has not even lost a set to any sectional opponent, in the regular-season or post-season.

Senior setter Shannon Albright said the key to this run is the way head coach Mary Jo Cerqua and her staff keep introducing game techniques to keep them from getting complacent.

"She's always pushing us harder, and we push each other," said Albright.

CNS, a no. 3 seed on its home court, was determined to at least puncture the Bees' dominant aura, and it did, briefly, by scoring the first three points of the match and even leading 10-8 at one point in the first set.

Cerqua said her team had early jitters, but that the team's self-confidence and experience in big contests helped them settle down. It used a 10-2 run to take control of that opening set and won it, 25-18.

CNS tried to hang in during the second set, too, but Liz Giromini served out the final seven points of the set and B'ville won it, 25-13. The third set proved even more lopsided as, with power and precision, the Bees closed it out, 25-8.

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