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November 8, 2021 - 3:16pm

Section V Class D1 girls volleyball champion Alexander preparing for playoff match against Fillmore on Tuesday

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With a victory on Tuesday night against Fillmore, the Section V Class D1 champion Alexander Lady Trojans will have an opportunity to face Genesee Region foe Pavilion for a second time this season – and this time there will be a trip to the Far West Regionals at stake.

Alexander Coach Marcia Hirsch, who reached the 1984 sectional finals as a player (her name then was Marcia Brown), said she is hoping to get another chance at knocking off the undefeated Lady Gophers in the Class D playoffs.

“Yeah, we played them once earlier this year, and they kind of beat up on us pretty good,” Hirsch said. “So, the girls would love another chance to play them because they didn't think they played very well that night.”

The loss to Pavilion during the regular season was one of only three defeats in 22 matches for the Lady Trojans, who upended top-seeded Letchworth in four sets on Friday night for the school’s first sectional crown since 1979.

Friday’s win puts Alexander into the three-team Class D playoff round to determine the Section V entry in the Far West Regionals at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Le Roy High School.  Chautauqua Lake is the Section VI representative.

The playoff format is as follows:

  • Alexander vs. Fillmore (Class D3 champion) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Pavilion High School;
  • The winner of that game vs. Pavilion on Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Caledonia-Mumford High School.

Hirsch, in her 17th year as coach, said she is proud of the way this season’s team was able to come together in light of losing five key seniors from the 2020 squad. Four juniors from that team have stepped up significantly this year as Hirsch had to juggle the lineup quite a bit.

“My seniors have been awesome all year,” she said, crediting the consistent play of outside hitter Sam Sawyer, setter Adeline Kautz, libero (back row “rover”) Courtney Schum and middle hitter Norah Crawford. Sawyer, Kautz and Crawford are co-captains.

Other key contributors are sophomores Alyssa Kramer and Riley Powell, and juniors Julia Yax and Mel Pohl.

Hirsch said she has had to “do a lot of maneuvering around (with the lineup)” as only two players have stayed with their same position.

“I think the key to our success was how good Adeline came around as a setter,” she offered. “We lost our setter last year and Adeline didn't really get the opportunity to set, so this year she was awesome all year and ended up being a (league) all-star.

“Another big thing is just our coverage; it’s hard (for the opposition) to get anything to hit the floor. So, that’s been a positive for us.”

The girls return to practice today in preparation for tomorrow’s match against Fillmore, which defeated Houghton Academy in five sets in the Class D3 finals.

“I haven’t seen them since Friday so I hope they enjoyed it (time off) and are ready to get back to work,” said Hirsch, who is supported by assistant coach Abbie Kelly and jayvee coach Alycia Yax.

Submitted photo: Front from left, Melanie Pohl, Alyssa Kramer, Maia Saile, Norah Crawford, Makayla Raines; back, Coach Marcia Hirsch, Julia Yax, Samantha Sawyer, Riley Powell, Courtney Schum, Adeline Kautz, Holly Bykowski, Jayvee Coach Alycia Yax.

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