Beekmantown continues dream season, wins Class B

Nov. 5—Saranac — Coming into their second game of the season, the Eagles were 0-1 and facing defending Section VII champion Peru.

That game changed everything.

"It means so much," Beekmantown's Alanie Denton said. "In volleyball, we've been building for this forever.

"Last year we came into this game against Peru who were CVAC Champions and had never lost a set. Then this year, when we beat Peru and ended their 21-game streak, we knew we had something special brewing."

It continued Saturday, as the Eagles defeated the Hornets, 3-1. It marked their first win against Plattsburgh all year.

"To come back from two games we lost to them, and we lost to them in the preseason," Denton said. "Today, I think every single error, we just got past it.

"We just thought about how much we love this team and seniors, juniors and sophomores. I think that's what's what powered us today."

Beekmantown took the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-20. But, they knew it wouldn't be a simple three game sweep against CVAC Champion Plattsburgh, who lost only one match all season.

"They have been just head down and focused knowing that if we wanted this we had to work for it," Eagles head coach Alyssa Rock said. "They were not going to just give it to us. It was not going to be easy.

"We came in knowing this will not happen in three [sets], you have to expect it would go four or five games. We conditioned for it. We practiced in really tense situations where you're point to point and back and forth. It literally pays off."

The Hornets would come back in a fury as they won the third set 25-15. Even with winning the third set, the Hornets couldn't gain any momentum and dropped the fourth set 25-14.

It helped for Beekmantown that they practiced a new defense to stop Plattsburgh's Natalie Battinelli from wreaking havoc at the net.

"We changed our entire defense for this one game, and we've been working on it since the last time we played them," Rock said. "We've just been hammering this defense as we knew it would work.

"They have been so receptive to learning something new at the end of the season. Just the way they pulled it off today. We were able to run our offense today. It's all so incredible."

The defense was having two players at the net to potentially block Battinelli's shot with a third standing behind them to get deflections. The back line spread out to make sure nothing got past them.

With the 3-1 win against Plattsburgh, and the 3-0 sweep against Peru in the semifinals, Beekmantown looks to be peaking at the right time.

"That's what our coaches had talked to us about before the game," Denton said. "[Kayla Castine] has worked so hard these past few practices.

"We worked on our defense to combat Natalie Battinelli. Overall we knew our spots, knew our roles and our communication was top notch."

Castine was superb at the libero position. She finished with a game high 26 digs, and routinely made sure the rest of her team knew to back off when a ball was heading out of play.

"We're just playing for the seniors now," Castine said. "We want to keep going and see how far we can take this.

"We're playing for each other and don't want this story to end."

It was a complete team effort for the Eagles. Janna Ruest and Payton Reynolds finished the game with 13 and 11 assists, respectively.

Peyton Hooker was a force at the net with a team high eight kills.

Anna Dutil finished in double digits in digs with 13.

Plattsburgh saw another triple-double out of Sadie Walker with 10 points, 27 assists and 19 digs. She also had four aces.

If not for Beekmantown's defense keying on her, Battinelli would have had more than her game high 18 kills. She had a double-double with 11 digs. Battinelli also had eight points.

Isabell DeTulleo had 10 digs while Marleigh Bull concluded the night with eight points and three aces.

Julia Luck was all over the court with seven points, six kills, five digs, one block and two aces.

With winning the section, Beekmantown now advances to play Section II's Broadalbin-Perth, Wednesday at South Glens Falls High School. The game is set to start at 5 p.m.

The Patriots (22-13-4) advanced by defeating Icabod Crane, 3-1, Friday.

Rock has confidence that her team can continue this run.

"We were new last year, it was our first year coaching," she said. The growth that we've been able to accumulate already and taking these girls who are such good players and putting the final perfect touches on them, a year ago to now is a bunch of different players.

"They're so much more confident in their abilities. We have an older team and their confidence has shined. They've become so powerful on both offense and defense."

Beekmantown 3, Plattsburgh 1

25-22, 25-20, 15-25, 25-14

BCS- Castine 2 aces, 26 digs; Lapier- 3 kills, 1 assist; Ruest 1 kill, 13 assists, 1 ace, 3 digs; Denton 6 kills, 1 dig, 2 blocks; Conroy 2 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 1 dig, 1 block; Hooker 8 kills, 7 digs, 1 block; Reynolds 2 kills, 11 assist, 1 ace, 3 digs; Dutil 3 kills, 2 assists, 1 ace, 13 digs; Bishop 4 kills, 1 dig; Perry 1 assist, 4 aces, 12 digs.

PHS- Walker 10 points, 4 aces, 2 kills, 27 assists, 19 digs; Battinelli 8 points, 2 aces, 18 kills, 11 digs; Lathrop 1 kill; DeTulleo 1 point, 1 ace, 3 assists, 10 digs; Young 3 kills, 3 digs, 5 blocks; Luck 7 points, 2 aces, 6 kills, 5 digs, 1 block; Bull 8 points, 3 aces, 1 kill, 2 digs; Parent 1 dig; Gorham 4 points, 2 digs