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Skaneateles stops Marcellus in volleyball final

Lakers rally from opening-set loss for Class B title

— 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.

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