Nov 04, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In order to return to the state Class B tournament for the second year in a row, the Marcellus girls volleyball team had to take the most difficult path possible, needing to beat two teams, Westhill and Skaneateles, that it lost to during the regular season.
At least half the task got accomplished, as the no. 3 seed Mustangs went to no. 2 seed Westhill in Friday night’s Class B semifinal and rallied to beat the Warriors in four sets.
This sets up a highly-anticipated championship match against Skaneateles, the top seed, Tuesday night at 5 p.m., after the Lakers (last year’s Class C champions) swept Homer in the other semifinal.
Back on Oct. 9, Westhill rallied from two sets down to stun the Mustangs in five, confirming its newfound contender status, but now it had to beat Marcellus again if it wanted a shot at the sectional title.
The Warriors got the jump, winning a hard-fought opening set 25-23. The second set proved just as tight, but Marcellus, playing strong defense to keep points alive, eked out a 25-22 verdict to even it at one set apiece.
They moved to the third set, where the combination of strong defense, power on the front line and solid serves helped the Mustangs win 25-18 to move in front. Westhill got a bit closer in the fourth set, but Marcellus closed out the match 25-20.
Libero Brittney Valentine led the Mustangs with 27 digs. Allie Massara was close behind, earning 22 digs, while Suzanna Sylcox contributed 11 digs.
Jessica Cost also got 11 digs, but helped in other ways, too, gaining 17 assists, five kills and two blocks. Anna Smith worked with Cost on the back line, working her way to 10 assists and seven digs.
Up front, Devan Landers earned 10 kills and three blocks, helped by Hannah O’Brien, who matched Cost’s total of five kills, plus Massara and Kelsey Burke, who got three kills apiece.
In defeat, Westhill saw Katie McGraw pick up 29 digs and Abby Bornstein add 17 digs, to go with seven kills. Annaleigh Gedney finished with 25 assists and 11 digs, while Lina Guindy matched Bornstein’s total of seven kills and picked up five digs.
Delaney Martin, with four kills and five blocks, and Bella Sterly, with five kills, offered further front-line support. Kelsey Matukas and Abbey Townley gained five digs apiece. Westhill’s season finished with a record of 15-2 as Marcellus improved to 15-3.
Just to get here, Marcellus had to first take care of no. 6 seed Phoenix in last Tuesday night’s opening round – which it did, prevailing in a 25-14, 25-19, 25-23 sweep.
In particular, Landers, with 14 kills, and Cost, who put together 19 assists, five kills, three aces and three digs, hurt the Firebirds. Hannah O’Brien had six kills and five aces, while Allie Massara picked up 10 digs, four aces and three kills. Libero Brittney Valentine finished with 14 assists as Suzanna Sylcox contributed five digs.
As this went on, West Genesee, who had the no. 5 seed in the Class A playoffs, saw its post-season run end in the opening round at no. 4 seed Liverpool, where it fell to the Warriors in three sets.
The Wildcats had a chance to snare the opening set, but Liverpool won it 25-22. After a 25-15 defeat in the second set, WG was within two points of extending the match in the third set, but the Warriors pulled it out 26-24 and advanced to the semifinals, where it fell to Baldwinsville.
Jessie Allen, in defeat, had five kills and four blocks. Emily Scaia and Jessica Hillery each had three kills, while Kara Sweeney got seven assists and Elle Swete contributed six assists.
Defensively, Christina Holzhauer managed 10 digs as Sweneey and Swete each got four digs. Lynn Copeland and Alia Hildebrandt put up three digs apiece. WG’s season finished with a record of 10-8.