The Millbrook High School volleyball team delivered the birthday gift coach Shawn Stoliker was hoping for.
The Section 9 champion defeated Section 1 winner Dobbs Ferry 25-18, 25-21, 25-18 in the Class C state regional final at Arlington High School in Freedom Plains on Saturday.
“I’m so excited to go back,” Stoliker said of reaching the state Final Four for a second consecutive year. “The girls worked so hard to get there.”
The Blazers (19-4) will play in the Class C state Final Four at the Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, beginning with round-robin action on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.. The top-two finishers advance to the title match at noon on Sunday. A year ago, Millbrook reached the Final Four with a 23-0 record, but did not make it through round-robin play.
“It’s incredible. We worked our butts off these last couple of weeks. I can’t wait to be back (at Glens Falls),” senior captain Amanda Critelli said.
Stoliker said his team looked to disrupt the flow of the Eagles (21-1), and the Blazers did so with 19 service aces, including two by Audrey Ouimet to close out the match.
Ouimet finished with 10 kills and seven aces, and teammate Meredith Dignan contributed 19 assists, five kills and eight digs. Critelli had four aces and 12 digs, and Alex Worthington, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker, tallied five kills and two blocks.
“She was a big presence in the middle for us,” Stoliker said of Worthington.
After beating Spackenkill for the sectional title, Millbrook swept Oneonta in the regional semis. The Blazers now turn their focus to Saturday’s round-robin play in Glens Falls.
“We know what to expect,” Stoliker said. “A majority of the players on our team have been there. It’ll be a lot of fun this time.”