“Rock on,” a phrase adopted by the Randolph girls volleyball team, is proving to be words to live by.
The Cardinals took another step toward a state title by making quick work of Bloomfield, 25-14, 25-22 and 25-14, in a Class D Far West Regional match played at Sweet Home. Randolph, along with Eden in Class C, advance to the state championship next weekend in Glens Falls. Frontier (Class AA) and Sweet Home (Class A) lost their regional matches and Starpoint (Class B) lost in a subregional earlier this week.
Junior outside hitter Mckenna Maycock, clearly the team’s rock, had four aces, 19 kills and 17 digs. Randolph (22-2) will be making its sixth trip to states since 2005. The Cardinals won it all in 2010, 2006 and 2005.
“I just want to do what my sister Moriah did,” said Maycock. “Her junior year they came in and won it, and I want to do the same, and I think we have the team for it.”
Randolph also got 12 digs from Hilary Clinger and 11 assists from Miranda Gross.
Randolph coach Robin Maycock said she scouted Bloomfield in their last match and identified the boy on Bloomfield’s team as its best passer. Libero Chance MacDowell, a male, was allowed to play because the school does not offer boys volleyball.
“I knew Chance was their best passer so I told the girls to make sure to hit away from him, and I think that got us out to an early lead. They had trouble getting that first ball up,” said Maycock. “I don’t think we played overly great, but we did what we had to to win.”
Beating Rochester Mercy proved too tall an order for Frontier. The Falcons lost in three games to the defending state champions, 25-16, 25-22, 25-19.
The Mercy lineup included outside hitter Terese Cannon, who has committed to Georgetown. Cannon was able to find the openings on the floor, was patient and waited out the block.
“We did have smaller girls than them which made our block smaller, and it’s easier for them to get a ball down. We let them make some runs, which we couldn’t let them do.” said senior setter Sydney Rojek. “This season was so much fun, we loved our practices, everybody was always working hard.”
Rojek has a Division I future waiting for her at Marist. She’s a four-year varsity player whose contributions go way beyond the stat sheet.
“Sydney came in as a setter back when my setter went out with an ACL,” said Debby Schrufer, who has been the Falcons’ coach since 1982. “She just has that sparkle, that leadership that makes a team want to play for her.”
Rojek had 20 assists, McKyla Brooks had 12 kills and Kaitlyn Long had 10 digs. Frontier’s lineup had seven seniors.
“The size factor was the biggest difference, when we came across the net we had a little bit of a size disadvantage,” said Schrufer. “We battled back. Serve-receive we started a little tentative, but then we calmed down.”
Frontier was hoping to advance to its first state final four. The Falcons’ 15-3 record includes nonleague wins over Eden and Sacred Heart.
Sweet Home took all three of its matches in sectionals by 3-0 scores, but against undefeated Pittsford-Sutherland (35-0 in NYS) it got a taste of what it had been dishing out. The Panthers fell to the Section V champions, 25-14, 25-22 and 25-14. The Knights were led by senior Luisa Schirmer, who will play at Ohio State.
Sweet Home’s go-to players, Emma Hubert, Jenna Reeser and Rachel Reusch, showed glimpses of what they could do, but they were overmatched at the net and the team struggled a little with its passing.
“We knew Section V is definitely very tough, so we knew we were technically the underdogs,” said Sweet Home coach Breean Martin. “I told our team, both of these teams deserve to be in this match, both won, we had never played them so we didn’t know how we matched up, so I told them just go out there, put it all out there. For the most part I think we did that.”
Hubert had four blocks and Reusch had six kills.
The Panthers, winners of their first Section VI title since 2007, finish 15-5.
Eden punched its ticket to its 14th state tournament in a row with a convincing 25-21, 25-9, 25-7 win over Byron-Bergen before a big crowd at Gates-Chili. Lainy Pierce had 36 assists, Heather Holscher had 11 kills and Kailey Ballou added nine kills. The Raiders take a 33-5-1 record into States. Eden has won the last five titles.
“They had a big crowd so the girls were pretty nervy in that first game,” said Eden coach Stephen Pierce. “But our size and our serving caught hold and a lot of our hitters had really good games.”
Pierce said his team has gotten a tremendous boost from freshman libero Molly Breier, who had been sidelined until late October with a wrist injury.