GLENS FALLS — Lainy Pierce isn’t a crier. But after winning a fifth consecutive title at the New York State Girls Volleyball Tournament, the Eden senior felt the tears coming on.
“I don’t think it hit me until we got our awards and started taking pictures,” she said. “It’s unbelievable, and it means so much to be a part of this program.”
In Sunday’s 25-7, 25-18, 25-15 win over Millbrook in the Class C final at the Glens Falls Civic Center, coach Stephen Pierce said he saw flawless play in the first set.
“Right off the bat, service aces, we were picking up every ball, stuff blocking,” he said, “and I knew we’re still young, we can’t maintain that level” for three sets, “and I think a little anxiety to finish it and get us in the second game. And Millbrook, they had nothing to lose, they went for it. Overall, I thought our play was excellent.”
Lainy Pierce is familiar with Glens Falls, as she and teammate Heather Holscher have won the last five state titles there. She recalled her contributions each year, starting with when she was an eighth-grader, and was glad she had something to take away from each one.
Her freshman and sophomore years were when she started having a bigger role, and then junior year threw her for a loop when she had to switch positions to setter.
“The start of my junior year I had to learn a whole other role of setting, and I had to continue that this year,” she said. “Although setting might not be what I’m going to college for, it was something I had to learn how to do for the better of my team.”
Pierce, named Tournament MVP for Class C for the second year in a row, finished with five aces and three blocks. Next year, she’ll be playing at Penn State and was glad to end her high school career on a good note.
“With my dad as a coach and my uncle as a coach, it’s not like you’re getting handed out, ‘You did so well,’ so it’s nice to feel like other people see it,” she said. “But they know I work hard.”
Also from Eden, Holscher had 19 kills, while Meghan Ballou finished with nine kills and five aces.
Eden was making its 14th straight appearance at the state tournament. The Raiders finished 6-0 in pool play on Saturday.
Coming into the season, Stephen Pierce thought his team had a good chance for another title and said if any team was going to break the streak, it would’ve been last year’s team.
“Simply because our team” last year was very young, he said. “We did lose some good seniors last year, but we had a lot of main players coming back, so I knew we were going to be better. I felt pretty good.”
Other Section VI champions Frontier (Class AA), Sweet Home (Class A) and Starpoint (Class B) were eliminated in the previous round of the state playoffs.
Randolph’s day didn’t go as well as it fell to Haldane, 25-19, 25-17, 25-17. The Cardinals ended the season at 22-3. While these two teams came into the match with some state championship history, Haldane was able to maintain a steady lead throughout the game and win its second title in three years.
Mckenna Maycock had 17 kills and 20 digs, Alexis Terrette had 10 assists and Hillary Klinger had eight digs for Randolph.
“They dominated at the net today; they played a lot better defense,” said coach Robin Maycock. “We tried three different rotations against them, moving people around to get some blocks on their best hitter, but in the end we never did.”
A title for Randolph would have been its fourth, adding to crowns won in 2010, 2006 and 2005. The Cardinals have reached the states six times since 2005.
The Maycocks will turn their attention to the Cardinals football team, which advanced to the Class D semifinals this weekend. Mitch Maycock is the team’s quarterback.