Having taken a long path toward top-contender status, the Westhill girls volleyball team is now just a few steps short of the summit.
That was the lesson gleamed from a crucial October stretch, which started with last Tuesday’s come-from-behind, five-set victory over Marcellus.
For a long time, this rivalry was one-sided in the Mustangs’ favor. And it looked like it would stay that way as Marcellus won the first set 25-18 and the second set 25-19 to seize control.
In the third set, Westhill was two points from defeat – but pulled out the set, 25-23. And from there, the Warriors kept getting better, claiming the fourth set 25-23 and, in a tense final set, pulling out by that familiar 25-23 margin to win the match.
Defense had a lot to do with this outcome. Katie McGraw amassed a career-best 40 digs, adding four aces, while Annaleigh Gedney earned 17 digs to go with her 30 assists.
It didn’t stop there, either, as Abby Bornstein mixed in 14 kills and 24 digs, while Kelsey Matukas picked up 13 digs and three aces. Lina Guindy chimed in with eight kills and 10 digs as Bella Sterly and Delaney Martin each had four kills.
Marcellus, in defeat, saw Jessica Cost pick up 19 assists, five kills and 11 digs, while Anna Smith had nine assists and Kelsey Burke got 14 digs and seven aces. Devan Landers had a team-best 12 kills and five blocks, while Hannah O’Brien had six kills and three blocks. Allie Massara added four kills and nine digs.
Two nights later, undefeated Skaneateles visited Westhill and, despite a strong start from the Warriors, the Lakers prevailed in four sets. Westhill won the first set, 25-21, but Skaneateles swept the next three sets by close margins of 25-23, 25-22, and 25-22.