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Big day for BH-BL teams

"Both teams played as well as they could, and we get to go on," said Gary Bynon.

Leanne Merchant had 10 kills, and Maria Allocco added seven kills for BH-BL, which faces Victor, Hendrick Westhampton Beach and defending class A champion Hendrick Hudson at this weekend's state tournament in Glens Falls.

"It's the state final four. We've got nothing to lose," said Bynon. "I have every bit of confidence that if we can do some good things, we have a good chance to make some noise."

While the volleyball teams were cleaning up at regionals, the BH-BL girls cross country team did the same at the state meet at Norwood-Norfolk High School. Despite missing two key runners, the Lady Spartans ran away to the class A crown with 31 points, 52 points ahead of runner-up Pittsford Mendon.

Junior Sam Roecker gave BH-BL a jolt by placing second overall in a time of 17:34.3, less than three seconds behind individual champion Emily Lipari of Roslyn. But it was what the next five Lady Spartans did that separated BH-BL from the pack. Eighth grader Alyssa Drapeau placed 16th in a time of 19:08.0, and senior Martha Brown finished 20th in a time of 19:15.0. Seven seconds later, a group of three freshmen " Riley Wilk, Rachael Cyrus and Rachel Stalker " crossed the finish line to clinch the state title.

"We didn't get out particularly well, but they somehow found each other around that first mile and stayed together," said BH-BL girls cross country coach Shaun Zepf.

BH-BL won't pursue a Federation title this weekend, as Zepf is giving his team the weekend off to prepare for the Nike Team Nationals Northeast regional at Bowdoin State Park in Wappingers Falls and allow Meaghan Gregory and Molly Pezzulo to heal. Gregory is still recovering from a bout of mononucleosis, and Pezzulo has a pulled calf muscle.

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