Nov 08, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For the second time in four years, Baldwinsville is the proud home of both of Section III’s Class AA volleyball champions.
In Wednesday night’s championship doubleheader at Cicero-North Syracuse, the boys Bees avenged last season’s finals loss to Oswego, prevailing in four sets, followed by the girls Bees rolling past Fayetteville-Manlius in a three-set sweep.
It hasn’t taken long for B’ville and Oswego to develop a fierce volleyball rivalry. After they met for the 2011 sectional title, they had two regular-season meetings this fall, splitting them as they separated themselves from the rest of the local AA contenders.
The championship match would settle matters, and at first the Buccaneers were the better side. Playing at a high level in the opening set, Oswego never trailed, and B’ville, by a 25-20 margin, found itself trailing.
“Oswego, in that first set, was unstoppable,” said B’ville head coach Dan Hyland. “But once we adjusted to that speed, our blockers got dialed in.”
Those front-line players – Shawn Calnan, Kevin Drain and Grady Schmidt – formed the foundation for the Bees’ uprising. It started late in the second set, when B’ville broke up a close battle with an 8-1 run that led to a 25-18 victory.
And it carried over into the third set, which started with a 10-1 Bees blitz and ended with a lopsided 25-10 margin. Try as it could, the Bucs could not overcome that run, and in the fourth set B’ville broke out of a 6-6 tie and never got caught, closing out the match 25-18.
Calnan led the way, putting away 17 kills and six blocks. Schmidt and Kevin Drain each picked up six kills, while Anthony DeMarco finished with three kills. Feeding all of them, setter Chris Drain had 28 assists.
With that task completed, the boys Bees went into the stands in the C-NS gym and watched as the B’ville girls, in full pursuit of a second state championship to go with the crown it won in 2010, took just an hour to dismantle no. 2 seed Fayetteville-Manlius.
Serving well, defending well and putting away shots at the net, B’ville gave up the first point of the match, and then won the next eight points, all on Madison Whitney’s serve.
That set ended 25-9, and in the second set a brief 3-3 vanished when the Bees put together a 10-1 run, pulling away again and prevailed 25-11. Only in the third set did F-M fight for a bit longer, only trailing 17-13 before B’ville again pulled clear with a 25-17 victory.
Maureen Thayer anchored the Bees’ back line, earning 24 assists. Up front, Lexi Lagoy set the pace with nine kills, while Whitney picked up six kills and four aces. Rachel Aiello and Allegra Lee Bell managed five kills apiece as libero Danielle Sayler gained five digs.
Both B’ville sides now head for regional finals, with the boys facing Horseheads (Section IV) Friday night at Elmira Free Academy and the girls taking on Shenendehowa (Section II) at Gloversville. Both state tournaments take place next weekend at Glens Falls Civic Center.