Nov 18, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
What had gone so well for the Skaneateles girls volleyball team for three months, all the way to the state Class B championship match, only went wrong in the final chapter.
The Lakers, in Sunday’s final at Glens Falls Civic Center, got overwhelmed by Long Island power John Glenn, falling in three sets to end a remarkable and historic season.
It all had started when Skaneateles successfully petitioned to move up from Class C to B for the 2012 campaign, mainly to avoid having to go through Section VI power Eden – who, indeed, would go on to claim its 10th state title in Glens Falls at the end.
A 14-1 regular season followed, the only blemish coming in an October defeat to Marcellus. But the Lakers avenged that loss in four sets to claim the Section III Class B title Nov. 6 at Jamesville-DeWitt (its fourth consecutive sectional title), and returned to that same gym to knock out Olean in the regional round four days later.
That led to the Lakers’ first-ever trip to Glens Falls for the state final four. It’s a two-day tournament where each of the teams face each other in two sets of round-robin play, six sets overall. The two best records advance to the finals.
Skaneateles first met Pelham (Section I), dropping the first two points but dominating the rest of the set to prevail by a 25-15 margin. Then, trailing 23-20 in the second set, the Lakers pulled off five consecutive points and pulled out a 25-23 win for the sweep of Pelham.
Johnstown, from Section II, was up next, and the Lakers would sweep them, too, by scores of 25-22 and 25-19, which led to the first encounter with John Glenn, a Section XI school from Suffolk County.
Assured of a berth in the state final due to its 4-0 mark, Skaneateles made it five in a row with an impressive 25-16 victory. Perhaps due to that, the Lakers relaxed in the second set, which Glenn claimed 25-22, but both teams advanced.
What Skaneateles encountered on Sunday morning was a far different Glenn squad than on Saturday. This was the Knights squad who had gone through the unique pressure of a state championship match before and knew how to deal with it, something that would show in this match.
Glenn took charge from the first set onward. The Knights took a 17-7 lead in the first set and, after Skaneateles got five straight sets, closed on an 8-1 run to prevail 25-13 and move in front.
In the second set, Julianna Augustine’s power shots kept the Lakers within reach, 11-9, but again Glenn took over, closing with a 14-4 spurt that created another 25-13 decision.
Briefly in the third set, the Lakers sneaked out in front 5-4, but the Knights quickly recovered and pulled away to close out the match by a 25-15 margin.
Augustine, in defeat, registered 16 digs to go with her team-best seven kills and five blocks on her way to an All-Tournament selection, while Sidney Lawson picked up 14 assists and 14 digs. Mallorie Olin added five blocks.
Glenn’s Jacklyn Malusa, ignoring a knee injury suffered in round-robin play, still led her side with 19 kills. Her teammate, Sam Czechzotka, managed 13 kills and 10 digs, with Stephanie Viteritti recording 24 assists and 11 digs.