Just a handful of points separated the Baldwinsville girls volleyball team from earning its second consecutive state Class AA championship last November at Glens Falls Civic Center.
That five-set defeat to Penfield in the 2011 title game has driven the Bees throughout the off-season as it strives to get back to Glens Falls and, this time, win it all.
Ironically, B’ville began its season Sept. 1 with an appearance at the Penfield Tournament, where it swept through Pool D, winning six consecutive sets over Lancaster (25-14, 25-15) Webster Thomas (25-10, 25-11) and Honeoye Falls-Lima (25-23, 25-17) to start things well.
Then, for the CNY Counties League opener last Tuesday at the Baker High School gym, the Bees drew neighbor and rival Liverpool, whom it beat in three sets 25-12, 25-16, 25-18.
Maureen Thayer, assuming the role as the Bees’ top setter, picked up 27 assists, an average of nine assists per set, while Meghan Andre added five assists and two blocks. Danielle Sayler put up three aces and five digs.
Up front, nine different B’ville players were credited with kills, but no one had more than the four posted by Rachel Aiello. Allegra Lee Bell, Sarah Herman, Maddy Price and Melissa Voyer each had three kills, with Thayer and Lexi Lagoy both getting a pair of kills.
Two nights later, the Bees visited Cicero-North Syracuse, where the second set proved a bit nervous, but otherwise B’ville exerted complete control and swept the Northstars 25-13, 25-22, 25-16.
Again, the formula involved a variety of front-line options. Madison Whitney stepped up and led the Bees with six kills, just ahead of Aiello, Bell and Lagoy, who had five kills apiece as Lagoy managed three aces.
Voyer (four kills) and Meghan Andre (three kills) helped, too as Thayer recorded 25 assists and Sayler kept points alive with eight digs. The Bees went for three in a row Monday, against West Genesee, and then rested before a Sept. 18 match at Central Square.