Baldwinsville First on the male side, and then on the female side, the Baldwinsville volleyball teams had to move their way past Fayetteville-Manlius to advance to the Section III Class AA championship doubleheader – and did so.
In front of the home fans at the Baker High School gym, the boys Bees, with the no. 2 seed, went first, taking on no. 3 seed F-M last Wednesday night and prevailing in four tight sets.
B’ville had swept the Hornets on Sept. 16 and then won a four-set decision on Oct. 7 in their regular-season encounters, but the third match proved the best of all.
After pulling out a 25-21 victory in the opening set, B’ville was poised to extend its margin before F-M rose up and, by a 25-23 margin, evened up the match.
They would continue to trade points throughout the third and fourth sets, but both times the Bees were able to inch out in front and stay there, winning the third set 25-22 and the fourth set 25-20 to advance.
With his 37 assists (to go with three kills and two aces), Pat Dubiel fed a well-balanced front line. Jonathan Dunn led with nine kills, while Corey Toscano and Delsean Griffith each had seven kills, Griffith adding five aces and two blocks.
Ryan Gell stepped up with five kills as Mike Bernet and Charles McAllister earned four kills apiece and Tyler Weber finished with 12 digs. F-M, in defeat, saw Louis Avellino pick up 24 kills and Sam Stauffer add 13 kills in front of Mike Boshart, who earned 41 assists.
As B’ville’s boys prepared for a sectional final at Cicero-North Syracuse against top seed Oswego, with whom it split a pair of five-set classics on Sept. 12 (lost) and Oct. 2 (won), the undefeated girls Bees completed two weeks of rest and preparation for their Class AA semifinal Friday night against no. 4 seed F-M, who ousted C-NS in the opening round.