Baldwinsville boys volleyball front-line players Anthony DeMarco (27), Grady Schmidt (28) and Shawn Calnan (24) celebrates a point versus Oswego during the Section III class AA final. The trio combined for 29 kills as the Bees beat the Buccaneers in four sets.
Cicero 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.