SARATOGA SPRINGS— The Stillwater Warriors traveled to play the Saratoga Central Catholic Saints for the Wasaren League volleyball title. After a thirty-eight year drought, the Warriors finally won in a four set game.
As the home team, Saratoga Central Catholic took command early in the first set. After Stillwater, put the opening two points on the board, the Saints put up four unanswered points to take the lead. Once the Saints got the lead, they never gave it back. The Saints took the first set 25-23 with large contributions from their sophomore Molly O’Reilly serving and their senior outside hitter Kennedy Murphy.
The Warriors settled in during the second set, getting a ten point lead mid way through the set thanks to some great hits into space by their middle hitter Kyleigh Frank. Although the momentum had all but escaped them, Saratoga Central Catholic rode the hot hand of Grace O’Reilly back into the game. Grace O’Reilly, the only starting junior, is credited with ten points of service to tie the game. After Stillwater pushed again to a five point lead, the Saratoga Central Catholic seniors Elise Browell and Kennedy Murphy orchestrated another run to take the lead. With the energy running high, the Saints were unable to cleanly play the next few balls, losing the second set 27-25.
Stillwater’s Coach Sara Baker said, “They weren’t talking to each other and they knew it, but then they turned it around. They’ve always been trying to chase that plastic bag in the wind, that’s what I keep telling them, and that’s what they did today.”
Stillwater’s Kyleigh Frank and Chloe Farr took over the third set. The pair seemed to be everywhere, coming up with big play after play and gave Stillwater command of the set. Even though, Grace O’Reilly and Kennedy Murphy pushed the Saints the best they could, the Warriors kept rolling and closed out the set 25-19.
Saratoga Central Catholic was not ready to give up in the fourth set. With a great team effort, the Saints took an eight point lead halfway into the set. This game shows us once again that it isn’t over until the whistle blows in the fourth set. Farr, Frank, and Stillwater’s senior setter Skylar Brennan got back to work and battled their way back to tie the game at eighteen a piece. This was where the Saints lost their touch, losing the set 25-21.
“I thought it was a great game on both sides. Both teams played very hard, and my girls had to dig way down deep to win it,” stated Coach Baker.
With tonight’s win, Stillwater owns their first league title since the 1980 season. Senior Chloe Farr was elated saying, “As a captain it means everything because my team, we work our butts off all the time. We are always trying our best and sometimes we get down, but we come right back out and when we do, we are the strongest team I know. I’m so proud of my girls.”