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Girls volleyball: Determined Spartans repeat as state champions

BH-BL fights for every point in 3-1 victory over Pittsford Sutherland

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls volleyball team reacts after beating Pittsford Sutherland 3-1 in Sunday's Class A state title match at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls volleyball team reacts after beating Pittsford Sutherland 3-1 in Sunday's Class A state title match at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— The fourth set went much like the second set. Pittsford Sutherland opened up an 8-6 lead, only to see BH-BL rally for six consecutive points to move ahead 12-8. The Knights tied the set at 12-12 and again at 20-20 before the Spartans won two more long volleys on their way to a 25-21 victory and their fifth state title since 2002.

Molly McCormack had a strong all-around game for BH-BL in the finals. The senior outside hitter recorded 13 kills and helped at the defensive end with 26 digs.

“Molly McCormack asked for the ball in the third and fourth sets,” said Bynon. “We just fed it to her and wow … just great.”

Junior outside hitter Kathleen Schurman had a team-high 17 kills, while sophomore Jessica Dillon contributed five kills, six blocks and 26 assists. But it was Wilder’s defensive effort which helped the senior earn the state tournament’s most valuable player award.

“It’s unbelievable. I never expected to get this far,” said Wilder. “And with all of the talented girls on this team, for me to win this award is incredible.”

“She has that athleticism, and she loves this stage,” said Bynon.

BH-BL advanced to the state championship by going 5-1 in Saturday’s pool play. The Spartans swept its two sets against Walter Panas (Section I) and Kings Park (Section XI), and they split their two sets against Pittsford Sutherland.

Schurman led BH-BL’s offense in pool play with 20 kills, while Wilder paced the Spartans’ defense with 41 digs. McCormack had 14 kills and 27 digs, and Dillon added 12 kills and 28 assists.

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