B'ville volleyball drops state AA final to Penfield

Bees lose five-set battle after 5-1 Saturday record

By just a handful of points, the Baldwinsville girls volleyball team missed out on a second consecutive New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA title.

The Bees fell in five sets to Section V opponent Penfield in Sunday's championship match at Glens Falls Civic Center, reversing results from the day before, when B'ville beat the Patriots in both sets of round-robin play.

Just as in 2010, the Bees traveled to Glens Falls having not lost a single set in any of it regular-season or post-season contests, at least when it came to best-of-five matches.

Once there, B'ville had to deal with Penfield in the second part of the round robin, which involved six total sets against the other three teams. Smithtown East, from Suffolk County, Long Island, and Suffern, the Section I champions, were the other entrants.

B'ville started against Suffern, and won both sets with ease 25-11 and 25-16. Then the Bees had its initial encounter with Penfield, and it went quite well as, with steady serves, power and strong defense, B'ville swept the Patriots 25-18 and 25-19.

A 25-21 win over Smithtown east in the fifth round-robin set clinched a finals berth, so the starters rested in the final set, which B'ville lost 25-13. Meanwhile, Penfield, by sweeping both Smithtown East (25-19, 25-21) and Suffern (25-19 and 25-17), earned a rematch with the Bees one day later.

If the Bees weren't alert to the Patriots' challenge, it was after a first set where Penfield, playing with confidence it didn't show in their initial encounter, prevailed 25-18.

Initially, B'ville handled the challenge with ease, smashing the Patriots 25-10 in the second set to pull even as it broke from a 3-3 tie with a 16-3 outburst.

Penfield shook that off, though, and in the pivotal third set regained control, never trailing as it earned a 25-18 victory to move to the brink of a state title.

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