DeWitt From the moment the Skaneateles girls volleyball team switched from a winter to fall schedule, it had all led to this.
The Lakers, by sweeping Section VI champion Olean in last Saturday’s Class B regional final at Jamesville-DeWitt, has earned its first-ever trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament at Glens Falls Civic Center.
All of this really started a year ago, when Skaneateles, still in Class C, lost to eventual state champion Eden in this same regional round.
Not wanting a repeat of that experience, the Lakers petitioned for, and was granted, a move up to Class B for 2012. It paid off, as Skaneateles first put together a 14-1 regular season, and then avenged its only defeat to Marcellus when it won the Section III Class B title last Tuesday night.
This led to the regional final, held in the same J-D gym where Skaneateles ousted Marcellus. And instead of Eden (who swept Cazenovia this time around), the Lakers drew Olean, a team that, while solid, had nowhere near Eden’s long record of success.
Leading throughout the first set, Skaneateles, at 15-10, broke it open with five consecutive points, going on to prevail 25-15. The second set saw the Huskies go in front 11-9, only to see the Lakers reel off four consecutive points to move ahead for good, eventually winning 25-18.
Olean tried hard to extend the match in the third set. Down 16-10, the Huskies came all the way back, pulling even at 22-22 and forcing Lakers head coach Doreen Doctor to use a time-out.
From there, points were traded until, at 24-24, Skaneateles won the ball back and, with Natalie Roche’s shot smacking the net and falling over to the floor, untouched, the Lakers had completed the sweep, 26-24, and were headed for Glens Falls.