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Monday, Nov. 19, 2018: Wantagh wins five-setter for girls volleyball crown

   Leading off today: The chalk held up Sunday in the NYSPHSAA girls volleyball championships as all four teams that stood alone at the top of the previous day's pool play went on to earn titles in Glens Falls.

   Portville and Bainbridge-Guilford defended their New York State Public High School Athletic Association crowns.

   The thriller of the day was in Class A, where Wantagh had to go the distance and then some to defeat Niagara-Wheatfield 23-25, 25-22, 20-25, 26-24, 26-26. Wantagh, which last won a state title in 2001, had previously won five-setters in the Section 8 final and in the Long Island Championship for the right to advance to Glens Falls.

   "That's just how we are," senior Katie Steele said. "We always do that."

   Wantagh led 13-7 when the teams switched sides in the fifth set, but Niagara-Wheatfield fought back with a 7-1 run to tie the score at 20. N-W held a match point at 26-25 only to be flagged for back-to-back violations. Steele's hit on the next rally ricocheted off a defender and fell to the floor to end the contest.

   Grace Riddle had seven of her 30 kills in the final set of the win.

    • Portville has won titles in four of the last five years, including two in Class D. Its 25-10, 25-15, 25-23 sweep of Millbrook in a rematch of the 2017 final brought the Class C title back to Section 6 for the 12th straight season.

   Millbrook rallied from an 8-3 deficit to take a 15-11 lead in the third set. With the score 23-23, Sierra Keim rang up a kill and an ace to end the contest.

   Tournament MVP Beth Miller paced Portville with 21 kills and 16 digs.

    • Long Beach never was able to shake off Victor in Class AA but walked away with a 25-23, 26-24, 25-22 in Class AA for its first championship in program history. The teams had played to a split in Saturday's pool play.

   "There's nothing a team can do that we're not prepared for or can't handle," libero Kathleen Verastegui said.

   A day after piling up 46 kills in Long Beach's 5-1 performance in pool play, outside hitter Emma McGovern cemented MVP honors with 30 more kills.

    • Westhill won Class B by a 25-23, 25-22, 19-25, 25-12 margin over Owego, which last year had made it three state crowns in five seasons. It was Westhill's first title and completed an undefeated season.

   Sara Galante registered 20 kills and MacKenzie Martin added 11 kills and 28 assists.

    • Bainbridge-Guilford captured the Class D title by beating Panama 25-18, 25-18, 25-19 in a rematch of the 2017 championship match. The teams split their pool-play contest on Saturday.

   "I have seven seniors on the team and I wanted it so badly for them," B-G coach Tami Selfridge said. "We just couldn't put too much pressure on it, we had to focus on individual things.


   "We were just hopeful that we could bring it home today -- and we did."

   Boys volleyball: Fairport and Bellmore JFK earned boys volleyball championships Saturday in Albany.

   Fairport won the Division I final by a 25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 25-20 score over Sachem North. Bellmore JFK beat Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 25-21, 25-22, 14-25, 25-20 in Division II at the Albany Capital Center.


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  •    Senior middle hitter and tournament MVP Matt Beiter led unbeaten Fairport with 10 kills, four blocks and two digs. Senior setter Kade Carlson had 37 assists, six digs and two blocks.

       Bellmore JFK took the final step Saturday after losing a five-setter to Eden for the 2017 championship.

       "After last year I just wanted this to happen so much," outside hitter Tyler Anderson said. "That carried me through this and through the whole day."

       Bellmore JFK swept Eden and split with Burnt Hills in pool play to start the day.

       Deuel's dominating day: Pittsford junior Megan Deuel defended her butterfly and backstroke titles while also helping the Panthers to a pair of relay championships Saturday in the state swimming and diving championships at Ithaca College.

       "It's crazy," Deuel said of raising her career total to nine state championships. "We have such a great team at Pittsford. I was able to be on a relay freshman year that won and just building that momentum and keeping it going is just great."

       Individually, Deuel won the 100-yard butterfly in 53.83 seconds and the 100 backstroke in :54.86, both good enough for automatic All-America honors. She also raced on Pittsford's winning 200 medley relay (1:45.09) and 400 freestyle relay (3:30.4).

       Pittsford, with no seniors on its roster, finished atop the team scoring for the fifth straight year.

       "It was definitely really cool and getting to come here with the team obviously was great," Deuel said.

       Junior Chloe Stepanek of Commack/Northport was selected the meet's outstanding performer for the second straight year after also defending a pair of state championships. Stepanek finished with a time of 1:47.66 in the 200 freestyle and :49.64 in the 100 free, breaking her Section 11 record of :49.93 set at last year's state meet.

       "It added a little bit more pressure, but I was able to focus on myself and had the support of my teammates to help me swim fast," Stepanek said of defending her two titles.

       Oceanside's Catherine Stanford won the 50 freestyle (:23.38) and finished second to Stepanek in the 100 freestyle (:50.96).    "I knew that if I stayed with her, I would have stayed on my time, so that's what I tried to do," Stanford said.

       Kyra Sommerstad of Port Jefferson won the 200 individual medley (2:02.89) and placed second in the 100 backstroke (55.95).

       There were no state records set in the meet, which began with preliminaries Friday.

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