When the Marcellus girls volleyball program moved from a winter to a fall schedule in 2011, ending the season on the court at Glens Falls Civic Center, playing for a state championship, was the primary reason.
In that regard, the Mustangs absolutely succeeded, even though, once it got to Glens Falls for the state final four on Nov. 19, it could not quite get past the round-robin phase.
Unlike most state team tournaments, which have semifinal and final rounds, the girls volleyball championships ensure that its four participants all face each other.
To that end, on the first day a round-robin format is used, two sets per round, six sets for each team. The two best record advance to the next day’s final.
Marcellus was lined up against Pelham (Section I), from Westchester Country, Johnstown (Section II), west of Albany, and John Glenn (Section XI), from Suffolk County, Long Island.
Beginning against Pelham, the Mustangs lost those two sets, 25-21 and 25-12. However, Marcellus bounced back, sweeping Johnstown 25-13 and 25-22, so it was still alive.
John Glenn ended the state title dreams, though, as the Knights swept Marcellus 25-19 and 25-12, advancing to the finals against Pelham.
So ended a championship season for the Mustangs where head coach Hy Bryant reached 300 career wins in a state tournament victory over Wayne.
A powerful front line, led by Nicole Fletcher and Devon Landers, put away points as Jessica Cost fed them from her setter spot and Brittney Valentine worked as the libero. Allie Massara, Kelsey Burke, Tabby McBride, Tori Bingham and Cassie Roberts also starred, too.