GLENS FALLS, N.Y.—First came the two-time defending state champions. Next, a team that hadn’t lost a match all season. And finally, another defending state champion.
The Mattituck girls volleyball team faced the best New York had to offer Saturday in the semifinals of the Class C state championship at the Glens Falls Civic Center. For the second straight year, the Tuckers dropped all six games in pool play, where they played each team twice.
Eden, Class B state champions a year ago, opened the semifinals with a pair of dominant wins over the Tuckers, 25-12 and 25-13. Penn State-bound Kendall Pierce, a ferocious outside hitter, landed 13 kills over the two games to lead the Raiders. Eden setter Tori Eschner helped set up most of the kills with 19 assists.
The Tuckers, meanwhile, managed just four kills and four assists total as a team.
Eden, a Section 6 school from just outside Buffalo, swept all six games in pool play to advance to the state finals Sunday. The Raiders will play for their ninth state championship.
Mattituck faced Rhinebeck from Section 9 in the second round of pool play and lost 25-16, 25-11.
In the two final games Voorheesville, the defending Class C state champions from Section 2, defeated Mattituck 25-9, 26-24.
The Tuckers nearly pulled off a shocking upset in the last game against Voorheesville. The Blackbirds needed a win to finish 3-3 and force a tie-breaker against Rhinebeck. The Tuckers led 22-16 playing the spoiler role, but the Blackbirds slowly fought back before pulling it out in the end.
Rhinebeck, which had its fans cheering wildly for the Tuckers during their final game, came back to win a one-game playoff against Voorheesville, 25-13, to advance to Sunday’s finals against Eden.
Mattituck finished the season with a 12-10 record after winning its second straight Long Island Championship.
Below is a live blog of all the action from Saturday.