By Ben Westcott, Chronicle Staff Writer
For the second straight year, Lake George volleyball will take the short trip to Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls for the Class D New York State final four.
The Lakers (16-3) will take on Tuxedo (17-4) in the state semifinals at the Cool Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7:15 p.m.
The Lake George-Tuxedo winner will meet either Section VI champion Chautauqua Lake or Candor High of Section IV in the Class D championship game Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.
Lake George earned its right to compete for a championship against the best teams in the state by sweeping Hamilton (26-7) in the regional final, 25-19, 26-24, 25-21, at Lake George High School on Saturday, overcoming a 7-0 deficit early in the second set.
Head Coach Brittany Rodrigues said they played the best they did all season.
“I was so excited for this team,” she said. “They worked so hard and played so well. I was kind of blown away by them as their coach. I couldn’t have asked for a better game from them.”
Rodrigues called Hamilton “a good team and we knew that going into it. We knew that it wasn’t going to be super easy.”
The Lakers are a relatively young team.
“I have a lot of 11th graders who haven’t had this level of experience in terms of regionals or sectionals, so I was really impressed with our composure,” Rodrigues said.
Senior outside hitter Angelina Minnear led the Lakers with 10 kills. “She was a key player that we had last year, returning this year,”
Rodrigues said. “She’s an amazing outside hitter and can be a game changer for us. She’s really doing very well in the postseason right now.”
Junior setter/hitter Evie Burke, the Adirondack League MVP, had eight kills and eight digs. “She’s a phenomenal volleyball player,” Rodrigues said. “She plays every position very well and is a true competitor. She definitely stands out in the league.”
Senior middle hitter Emily Guidetti led the squad with four aces, while junior libero Josie Duers amassed 26 digs.
Rodrigues said Guidetti “didn’t play last year, but she played this year. She’s a talented athlete.”
Duers, playing her first year on varsity, is “phenomenal back there, and she is so fast and gets like every ball up. She’s really fun to watch and always puts her 110% heart out on the court.”
Against Hamilton, Rodrigues said, “We really focused on playing the game at our pace. We focus on running a faster offense and defense. We try to limit the time that the ball is on our side of the court.”
Rodrigues said Lake George returns to the final four despite losing a lot of talent after last season.
“We graduated a pretty strong team last year, some pretty talented seniors,” she said. “On the surface it looked like it would be a rebuilding year for Lake George, but as we got into the season I started slowly seeing more and more from this team, to the point where I was like, no, we’re going to surprise people this year. As the season went on my expectations got higher and higher for this team. This team can go far if they put their minds to it.”
Standing in their way first is Section IX champ Tuxedo. “We’re preparing the best we can, but we’re really just focusing on perfecting our game and how we want to play,” Rodrigues said. “We’re keeping in mind what Tuxedo has and what they’re going to bring, but we’re really just hoping that we can play our style of play and be successful.”
In other local scholastic sports:
Glens Falls (9-1) lost 35-27 to Ravena (11-0) in the Section II Class B football championship game at Guilderland High School Saturday.
Glens Falls rallied three times from two-touchdown deficits, but Ravena’s Jack McFarren made a leaping interception at his own 5-yard line with 29 seconds left to seal the Ravens’ victory.
Glens Falls junior quarterback Brody Holcomb threw three touchdown passes of 69, 14 and 13 yards to classmate Kellen Driscoll. Holcomb completed 26 of 47 passes for 392 yards. Driscoll caught 15 of them for 254 yards.
Ravena’s defense made its presence known by sacking Holcomb five times and grabbing three interceptions. Up front the Ravens dominated, holding Glens Falls to minus-22 yards rushing in the game.
Warrrensburg-Lake George-Bolton football (9-1) was unable to repeat as Section II champions Friday, falling 41-14 to Stillwater (9-1) in the Class D Section II championship at Troy High School.
Fort Ann girls soccer (13-5-2) lost 6-0 to Cincinnatus (21-0-1) in the Class D state semifinals at Homer High School on Saturday.
Cross-country state results
Queensbury junior Liam Davidson finished sixth in the Class B Boys Cross Country Championships at Vernon Verona Sherrill High School on Saturday. He ran the 5K race in a time of 16:25.3, 16 seconds behind the first place finisher. Glens Falls senior Liam Burgess finished 24th, with a time of 17:07.7.
Lake George as a team finished ninth among Class D boys. It runners were freshman Liam Linehan (18:55.7), seniors Jason Ludlow (19:09.8) and Brendan Battersea-Manna (19:56.7), sophomore James Richard (20:05.6), and freshman Rory Linehan (20:12.8).
Warrensburg senior Brody Olden finished 16th in Class D (16:59.7). Queensbury senior Miranda Habshi finished 34th in girl’s Class B (20:18.3). Schuylerville senior James Lynch finished 27th in boy’s Class C (17:23.0), while the Black Horses’ Adeline Ballou, a sophomore, finished 34th in the girls race (21:00.3). Granville’s Amber Gibbs, a senior, placed 51st among Class C girls (21:33.3).
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