Nov 07, 2012 Kris Russell Uncategorized
In the last act, when it mattered most, the Skaneateles girls volleyball team got the best of Marcellus.
The Lakers, who won Class C a season ago but moved up this fall, rallied past the archrival Mustangs in four sets in the Section III Class B girls’ volleyball championship match Tuesday night at Jamesville-Dewitt High School.
The Lakers clinched their fourth successive Section III title by set scores of 23-25, 25-21, 27-25, and 25-17.
“A great match (between) two very, very good teams,” Skaneateles coach Doreen Doctor said. “We could play 10 times and we would probably split.”
The teams did split their regular season matches, each sweeping the other on their home floors, only adding to the suspense surrounding the sectional final.
The no. 3 seed Mustangs (15-3) looked to have things going their way midway through the second set. Marcellus had already won the opener, and held a clear 15-9 edge before Doctor called a timeout.
The pause turned into a turning point. The top seeded Lakers (17-1) won the next five points.
“That was the key moment in the match,” Mustangs coach Hy Bryant said. “We let them come back. That was the big turning point emotionally.”
Skaneateles standout Julianna Augustine said the Lakers huddle at that point was anything but calm.
“(It was) chaos, absolute chaos,” Augustine said. “One of my roles on the team as captain is to motivate everyone. I just had to get everyone excited and to get everyone to think we can do this.”
Skaneateles still had some work to do in the set, though. The Lakers finally pulled ahead 20-19 before winning the final four points.
The vital third set was close from the opening serve. There were six lead changes, 11 ties, and the biggest lead either had was three points. Marcellus twice served for the set, but each attempt ended in a fault.
“That was huge,” Bryant said. “If you can’t serve under pressure, you can’t win.”
After losing the fourth set’s first point, Skaneateles got rolling. The Lakers won the next three points, and nine of the next 11.
Skaneateles upped its edge to ten points (19-9) before the Mustangs rallied. Marcellus won seven of the next eight points, but got no closer than 20-16.
“It was a great hurdle to overcome,” Augustine said. “We did a great job and pulled together as a team.”
Bryant liked the way his team battled. “We gave them a lot of fight,” he said. “We fought as hard as we are capable of.”
“I’m ecstatic for my seniors,” Doctor said. “The seniors have been with me for three years. They’ve worked for this. I’m just so glad they did it.”
Augustine was the Lakers statistical leader. The senior had 18 kills, 13 digs, and four blocks. Skaneateles also got big nights from Jo Anna Dean (13 digs, six kills, three blocks), Sidney Lawson (18 digs, 15 assists, six kills), and Malorie Olin (three blocks).
Marcellus standout Devan Landers finished with 15 kills and three blocks. The Mustangs also got key contributions from Jessica Cost (10 assists, four aces), Allie Massara (20 digs), Anna Smith (15 assists), and Suzanna Sylcox (13 digs).
The Lakers return to J-D this Saturday to play a state tournament regional match. Skaneateles faces either the Section V or Section VI winner.