The Mid-Hudson Athletic League volleyball final could prove to be a precursor to the Section 9 Class C final.
It did a year ago, though the Millbrook High School volleyball team surely is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.
For the second consecutive year, the Blazers defeated Spackenkill for the MHAL championship Wednesday, taking the best-of-three final 25-18, 25-21 at SUNY Ulster.
A year ago, however, the teams met again in the sectional final, with the Spartans having the last laugh.
The Blazers earned Class C’s the top seed this year, while Spackenkill was given the second seed. Millbrook coach Shawn Stoliker expects his team to cross paths with the Spartans again.
“If things go well, hopefully we’ll be playing each other in the championship,” Stoliker said. “Hopefully we’ll be seeing each other on Sunday (Nov. 8).”
Spackenkill coach Cassi Diamond “would say it’s a good possibility,” her team and the Blazers will meet again.
To reach the MHAL finals, the Blazers beat Marlboro 25-6, 25-12. In the four-set night, Megan Fergus finished with 25 kills, one ace and 11 digs. Lauren Raylor had nine kills, six assists and eight digs. Kayla Gusikoff had 44 assists, and Brooke Babbitt added four aces.
“I like where we’re at,” said Stoliker, whose Blazers are 16-1. “This is what you practice for all year long. Nothing matters now but sectionals.”
Spackenkill beat Red Hook in the MHAL semifinals, 25-19, 25-16. Nini Sher had 10 kills and one ace against the Raiders. Against Millbrook in the finals, Sher had seven kills and three aces. Teammate Courtney Noll added eight kills.
“Overall we played well,” said Diamond, whose Spartans are 17-4. “It was a good test going into sectionals to see what we can be working on.”
Millbrook and Spackenkill each received first-round byes in the Class C tournament. The Blazers will face the winner of fourth-seeded Rhinebeck and fifth-seeded James I. O’Neill on Nov. 5. The Spartans will face the winner of third-seeded John S. Burke Catholic and sixth-seeded Ellenville the same day.
In Class B, top-seeded Red Hook received a first-round bye. The Raiders will play the winner of fourth-seeded New Paltz and fifth-seeded Saugerties on Nov. 5. Marlboro, the number two seed, faces seventh-seeded Monticello in the quarterfinals on Nov. 3.
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports