In 13 years at the helm of the Skaneateles girls’ volleyball program, Doreen Doctor has ushered hundreds of high school-aged girls through her program.
She knew entering this season that she had inherited more talented players than the 2012 Lakers. Sure, Julianna Augustine and Jo Anna Dean were strong hitters, but Doctor had coached harder.
But as the season went along, Doctor couldn’t help but balk at their unparalleled drive. The unsettled motivation drove Skaneateles to not only their fourth consecutive Onondaga High School League title and third straight Section III crown, but to their first state final four and championship berth in program history.
“When we started the season, I did expect us to do well,” Doctor said. “Our goal was to win a league championship and take the sectionals.
“Did I think we’d get to the state finals? Everyone wishes you would, but I wasn’t sure. As the season went along, I realized just how good these kids were. They were pretty good volleyball players and they really wanted to do well. They had a lot of heart.”
Led by senior captains Augustine, Dean and Sidney Lawson, Skaneateles cruised through its first regular season in Class B — pausing briefly on Sept. 6 to celebrate Doctor’s 200th career victory — before upending archrival Marcellus in the sectional final on Nov. 6.
Four days later the Lakers defeated Olean to punch their ticket for their first-ever final four, and chalked up a 5-1 mark in round-robin play on Saturday to clinch a spot in the final.
While Skaneateles ultimately fell to John Glenn on Sunday, Doctor said the historic season changed the program.
“They defined Skaneateles volleyball,” Doctor said “l really, truly believe they defined that.”
Augustine and Lawson were the power players up front while the setter Lawson led the back line. The fourth senior on the team, libero Amanda Shoenfelt, and junior hitters Natalie Roche and Malorie Olin provided strong contributions as well.