GLOVERSVILLE — While it took the Shenendehowa girls’ volleyball team four sets to knock off Section III champion Baldwinsville in the Class AA Regional final at Gloversville High School Saturday, the Plainsmen had to battle and hustle for each and every point they put on the board.
Shenendehowa took the first two sets by scores of 27~25 and 25-22. Baldwinsville fought back taking the third set 25-22 before the Plainsmen came back with a 25-22 victory to end the match.
With the victory, Shenendehowa earns a return trip to the state championship next Saturday at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. The Section II Class AA champions fell one match short of a state title last year.
“I am so proud to be going back [to the state tournament], said outsidehitter Maddy Frutchey, who spiked the winning shot in the opening set. “A lot of people didn’t expect us to get back. Today, we worked hard and fought hard for every single point.”
In the second set, Baldwinsville led by small margins, with four points being its biggest lead. With the set tied 18-18, the Plainsmen outscored the Bees 7-4, with senior captain Katie Greene scoring the last two points for the victory:
“We needed that set to keep our momentum going, and I just kept pushing Greene said. “It was a back-and-forth battle all day. Our hitters were on and they led the way.”
Baldwinsville didn’t let the 2-0 deficit stand. The Bees never trailed the entire set, and senior Katie Welcher tallied the winning kill. But it just wouldn’t be enough.
“It’s always tough to play a team like Shen, who who has a great defense,” said Baldwinsville coach MaryJo Cerqua, whose team suffered its first defeat of the season. “They make the plays, and they forced us to always be backing up.”
The final set saw the lead change hands nine times and tied on eight occasions. When Baldwinsville failed to get the ball over the net with the score knotted at 17, two out of bounds balls by Baldwinsville along with points by Frutchey, Anne Shaffer, and Greene, clinched the victory for Shen.
“We knew we were evenly matched. We came out ready to fight for every single point,” Shen coach Lori Kessler said. “Taking those first and second sets were so important as it gave us momentum and took a little pressure off of us. Play on both sides of the net was relentless. They [Baldwinsville] were relentless in the third set.
They had control, and we were just back on defense. In the fourth, we just kept pushing points for the win.”
Shen’s Ashley Lavigne had 41 service points. Frutchey, Greene and Rose Talty each had 10 kills.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake claimed its 17th consecutive regional championship with a 25-11, 25-14, 25-7 Class A win over host Massena.
Claire Isaksen had 36 assists for the 27-1 Spartans, Carlie Rzeszotarski had 10 kills and Samantha Versocki had nine kills.
Broadalbin-Perth beat Ogdensburg Free Academy in Class B 25-9, 25-16, 25-14.
Marie Julian had nine aces among her 22 service points and contributed 12 kills as Voorheesville beat Canton in Class C 25-9, 25-10, 26-28, 25-10. Jada Akers had five aces and 17 service points for the Blackbirds, Victoria Konicki had 10 kills and four blocks and Katy Bablin had five kills and 12 assists.
Mikayla Myers and Samantha Kent both delivered nine kills and combined for five blocks as part of Mayfield's 25-10, 25-11, 25-18 Class D win over Chateaugay. Emily Mormando had 13 for the Panthers, and Deandra Myers had four aces among 10 service points.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (19-2) swept Oswego 25-19, 25-18, 27-25 in a Division 2 regional and advanced to Saturday's state semifinals at the Albany Capital Center.
Cicero-North Syracuse defeated Shenendehowa (19-4) in Division 1 action 24-26, 25-19, 16-25, 25-20, 18-16.
Shenendehowa also lost a five-setter in last year's state championship match against Penfield.