In the blink of an eye, all the momentum that Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake built up was taken away, and the Spartans never got it back.
Section I champion Hendrick Hudson rallied from a 22-19 deficit to win the first game 25-23 and went on to defeat BH-BL 3-0 to claim the class A title at last weekend's New York State Public High School Athletic Association Girls Volleyball Championships in Glens Falls.
We were pretty determined to win all three games, said Hendrick Hudson coach Diane Swertfager. "They just never quit. They just know how to play this game."
"We just got beat in every aspect of a volleyball game," said BH-BL coach Gary Bynon. "They were just a better team."
Aces by Kelsey Wickel and Maggie Reuter during Hendrick Hudson's closing 6-1 run in the first game gave the Sailors an advantage they never let go. Hendrick Hudson ran away with the second game 25-18 and fended off several BH-BL rallies in the third game to close out the championship with a 25-23 victory.
"That was our opportunity to get a game under our belt, but to (Hendrick Hudson's) credit, they kept coming back," said Bynon.
"If we hadn't come back in that first game, I still think the girls would have been fine because they've been down this road before," said Swertfager.
Reuter was a thorn in BH-BL's side throughout the match. The senior had four aces among her nine service points, which tied Laura Fojanesi for the team lead in service points.
"That No. 15's serve just handled us. Her serve was too tough," said Bynon.
Lindsey Hock contributed 14 kills, and Ragin Jackson added nine kills and three blocks for Hendrick Hudson, which won its first state title after three previous championship match losses.
"I just told them (before the match) to have fun," said Swertfager. "Volleyball is supposed to be fun. Who wouldn't want to be out there with you? I wanted to be out there with you."