MASSENA - The Potsdam Central girls volleyball team didnt let OFA take advantage of a strong start on Wednesday in the Section 10 Class C Championship Match.
We played very, very well in the first set and in the second set we gave them another run for their money but in the third set, we got a little gun shy and Potsdam took control, noted OFA coach Sue McLean after the Lady Sandstoners fashioned a hard-working sweep over her squad at the Massena High School gym to earn their second sectional title in three years.
Along with earning a trip to the NYSPHSAA Class C tournament with the win, the Lady Sandstoners advanced to the Section 10 Overall Championship which will be staged on Monday, starting with a semi-final matchup at 4 p.m. between Potsdam and Class B champion Franklin Academy, which outlasted Massena Central in five sets in the sectional final played at the Potsdam Central gym on Wednesday. The winner of that match will then go up against undefeated Class D champion Chateaugay in the overall final which is scheduled to start shortly after the All-NAC Awards presentations set to take place following the first match of the night. Chateaugay stopped Edwards-Knox in four sets in the second sectional final of the night at the Massena gym.
All three Section 10 class victors have punched their tickets to state play and will take on the respective winners from Section 7 at the Massena Central gym next Wednesday. The Class C match will begin at 3:30 p.m., the D tilt is scheduled to begin at 5:30 and the Class B matchup is slated to start at 7:30 p.m.
Potsdam 3, OFA 0: Both teams wanted this so badly and there were a lot of nerves on both sides at the beginning. Volleyball is a game of mistakes and both teams made their fair share of them. The important thing for us is we picked it up and overcame them, said coach Julia Pahler after the Lady Sandstoners rallied to take the opening set 25-23 then used strong finishes to win the next two by scores of 25-19, 25-16.
We played Ogdensburg three times this year and we never had any easy sets against them. Im just very proud of the way we were able to keep it together after getting off to a bit of a rough start, she added. We set few goals for ourselves before the season and this was definitely one of them.
The Lady Blue Devils were the steadier of the two teams from the service line to start the match and worked their way to a 14-9 lead after junior Emma Hart delivered four straight points. But that turned out to be the final OFA run of the set as the Lady Sandstoners steadily battled back, taking their first lead at 20-19 when a serve by senior Miranda Mangual led to a ball hit into the net. Potsdam eventually went ahead 24-21 on a service error before completing their comeback when an OFA player was called for a net violation to make it 25-23.
The teams traded leads through the early stages of the second set with OFA going ahead 8-5 after a four-point run served up by freshman Taylor Perry but Potsdam countered with a five-point run off the service of senior Katie Burke to take an 11-9 lead and never looked back in posting the 25-19 win.
The Lady Devils opened the third set by taking a 3-1 lead but junior Elna Daby produced some precision serving to key a six-point run that put the Lady Sandstoners ahead 8-4 and they never looked back as junior Sarah Vivlamore served out the set and the match with an ace.
Daby finished with a team-high 12 points, including three aces, as the Lady Sandstoners improved to 16-2. Vivlamore generated 38 sets, nine assists, seven points, two blocks and one ace. Mangual tallied seven points, six kills, one ace and one block. Burke also logged seven points along with a handful of kills. Senior Victoria Mondragon chipped in six points, four kills and two aces. Senior Erica Mason served up four points, including one ace.
All the players stepped up to make big plays at one point of another tonight, said Pahler.
For OFA, junior Emma Hart generated 10 assists, seven points, three aces, three kills and three digs. Taylor Perry contributed 12 assists, 10 digs, six points and three kills while senior Paige Perry worked the court for seven kills and three digs. Also aiding the Lady Blue Devil effort were; senior Taylor Fisher (4 points, 3 qaces, 3 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs), senior Adrianna Compo (6 points, 6 kills, 4 digs) and senior Jessie Logan (4 digs).
The first two sets, we had all six players playing well and if it wasnt for a couple of key service errors, we might have won them. We lost that consistency in the third set, noted coach McLean after her team finished the year at 13-5.
Volleyball is a game of runs but Potsdam played well defensively and we made too many service errors to put any big runs together, she added.
FA 3, Massena 2: The top-seeded Lady Huskies held off the second-seeded Lady Raiders to claim the Class B title.
The Raiders have gone through a season of turmoil, according to coach Mary Arcadi, who came out of retirement to help guide the Massena girls to the title match. Massena opened up the championship match with a 25-22 win in the opening set, with the Huskies rebounding with a 25-18 win in set two. Then FA moved in front with a 25-13 win in the third set, only to find the Red Raiders tie up the final with a 25-23 win in the fourth set – setting up the emotional finale with the Huskies rallying from behind to pick up a 25-20 win and the sectional title.
In the final set in Potsdam on Wednesday, Massena jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead with the Huskies finally getting on the board and steadily pulled to within three points, 11-8. The Raiders scored the next two points to hold a 13-8 lead at the switch.
The never-say-die Huskies pulled back to within two points, 14-12, behind the service of Rachel Lamica, only to have the Raiders pull awy again and hold a 16-12 lead.
FAs Janelle Heden toed the line and quickly served up three straight aces to tie the final set at 16-all. The Huskies took their first lead of the final set, 17-16, as Lamica pounded one of her 32 kills in the match, which was immediately followed by Heden serving up five more points to vault the FA girls in front 21-16.
The Raiders didnt quit and pulled to within two points, 22-20, only to have the Huskies collect the next three points to earn the Class B crown.
It was a tight match, said Malone coach Michele Thomas. It was worthy of a championship match.
We got down on the scoreboard, but not emotionally and roared back. Our big hitters, Rachel and Whitney (Legacy) came through for us tonight, added the Malone coach. We knew it wasnt going to be easy, and it wasnt.
The Raiders have gone through a season of turmoil, according to coach Mary Arcadi, who came out of retirement to help guide the Massena girls to the title match.
Its been a rough season for these girls, said Arcadi. I am proud of the way they came together. This is such a wonderful group of girls. They played their hearts out.
But it was the Huskies who won out in the long run.
The Malone girls were paced by seniors Lamica, Legacy and Heden. Heden collected 23 service points with seven aces while Lamica and Legacy led the play at the net, combining for 49 kills. Lamica served up 15 points with eight aces and added five blocks at the net, as Heden chipped in with three kills.
Seniors Karissa Beaudry and Brooke Peck combined for 21 service points and 33 assists as classmate Sarah Benware chipped in with seven points, one ace and one kill.
Massena was paced by the service effort of Krista Lorans 18 points while Sam Villnave had eight kills. Sabrina Sunday added five points and Kyrsha Argus chimmed in with three kills.
Chateaugay 3, E-K 1: he Chateaugay girls needed four sets to eliminate the Lady Cougars winning the first two sets 25-16 and 25-8. The emotional lift left the Bulldogs as the Cougars rallied to win the third set 25-19 before CCS readjusted and closed out the match with a 25-20 win in the fourth set.
Kendra King and Kylie Hanley led the lady Bulldogs with 12 service points each.
King served up five aces while Hanley had three aces and led the floor play with 25 assists. Shelby Yanulavich and Caitlin Miller paced CCS at the net with 11 kills apiece. Yanulavich added seven points and three aces to the championship-game victory.
NOTE: Malone Telegram Sports Editor John Gokey contributed to this article.