In the final analysis, anything the Baldwinsville boys volleyball team accomplished, beyond reaching the state Division I championship tournament for the first time, was just extra.
Still, the Bees went to Glens Falls Civic Center Saturday fully determined to grab the big prize, only to claim just two of six sets in round-robin play against the other members of the state final four.
By far, the most difficult part for B’ville was the waiting. This was the first time that the boys and girls state tournaments were held in the same venue, but it was the girls going first, working their way through all five state tournament round-robins, including the girls Bees advancing to yet another state final.
By the time Shawn Calnan, Kevin Drain, Chris Drain, Anthony DeMarco, Grady Schmidt and the rest of the Bees took the court, it was past 9 p.m., and perhaps the long time thinking about the matter affected B’ville’s performance.
Or perhaps it was something else – namely, the high quality of B’ville’s opponents, which would manifest itself before the night was done.
First, B’ville met Section II champion Bethlehem. The Bees took the opening set 25-22, but the Eagles answered with a 25-21 win in the second set for a 1-1 split.
The same thing happened against Lindenhurst, the Section XI champions from Suffolk County, Long Island. B’ville smothered 25-12 in the first set before rebounding 25-16 in the second to pull even again, at 2-2.
Still, the Bees needed to win both sets against Section V champion Rochester McQuaid. The Knights proved too strong, though, winning both of those sets 25-16 and 25-21 to thwart B’ville’ state title dreams.