Cicero Yes, there were moments of concern for otherwise machine-like Baldwinsville girls volleyball team during Wednesday night's Section III Class AA championship match against West Genesee at the Cicero-North Syracuse gymnasium.
Some poor serves in the opening set kept the Wildcats close for a while, and some careless play in the third set nearly extended the match.
On the whole, though, it was far from enough to derail B'ville's latest run to a sectional title, as it swept West Genesee in three sets, completing another run through the Section III regular season and post-season where it never lost a set to any opponent in a best-of-five match.
"There was a lot of nerves at the start," said head coach Mary Jo Cerqua, who attributed those nerves to a combination of playing in a sectional final and dealing with a slick, brand-new type of volleyball different to all those the Bees had used to this point.
Even with all that, WG could not extend an early 4-2 edge and, after a 7-7 tie, B'ville zoomed out in front to stay in the opening set.
Overcoming its inconsistent serves, the Bees methodically pulled away, not with any single scoring run, but with occasional bursts that proved too much for the Wildcats to handle as B'ville won that first set 25-15.
By contrast, in the second set the Bees never trailed after getting the first two points. From a 3-2 lead, B'ville went on an 8-2 run, and stayed in control even though WG kept rallies alive with an all-out effort that, occasionally, led to points.
The Bees' winning margin in that set was exactly the same as the first, 25-15. Usually enjoying a balanced front line, B'ville depended heavily on Madison Whitney, who delivered 16 kills. Cerqua said that by setting herself up on the outside, Whitney was able to continually put away points with spikes to the middle of the court.