Cicero As it steamrolled past the Section III Class AA competition again this fall, the Baldwinsville girls volleyball team rarely had the need to call a time-out, since it rarely got in any trouble.
That changed, though, in Saturday's Class AA regional playoff match at Cicero-North Syracuse, where the Bees did decide to regroup - and it directly led to a three-set sweep of Shenendehowa.
With that win, B'ville earned a return trip to Glens Falls Civic Center, where it will face three other foes next Saturday and Sunday in pursuit of a second consecutive state championship.
Shenendehowa, the Section II champions, came to CNS at less than full strength, as top setter Hayley Macken was out with a concussion. But that didn't keep the Plainswomen from making an early push.
Serving well and showing some power, Shen put B'ville in a 12-9 deficit, leading Bees head coach Mary Jo Cerqua to use that rare time-out. Whatever was said in that huddle, it sure seemed to work.
For as soon as play resumed, B'ville ran off eight consecutive points, all on Sarah Klaben's serve. In all, the Bees closed the set on a 16-3 run to prevail by a 25-15 margin.
In truth, Shen never really recovered from that blitz. B'ville scored the first four points in the second set and won going away, 25-10. The Plainswomen did play tougher in the third set, but the Bees moved ahead 13-12 and, despite squandering four match points, closed it out 25-21.
Shannon Albright recorded 17 assists. On the defensive side, Paulina Rein had eight digs to back up her three kills, while Klaben and Liz Giromini each had seven digs. Libero Danielle Sayler got six digs as, up front, Allegra Lee Bell, Sydnie Hamm and Lexi Lagoy put up five kills apiece.
On Saturday at Glens Falls, B'ville will meet three opponents (Penfield, Suffern and Smithtown East) in six sets of round-robin play, hoping to advance to Sunday’s best-of-five final, which starts at noon.