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NYSPHSAA girls volleyball

Pavilion Lady Gophers win two of six sets, fail to advance to state girls volleyball championship match

By Mike Pettinella
Update: Victor and Mount Academy captured state titles with both teams winning in four sets.


Pavilion won two of six sets in the three-match, round robin New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls volleyball Class D championships Saturday, but it wasn't enough to advance the Lady Gophers to today's finals at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.

Coach Rex Eighmey's squad, which entered the state tournament with a 25-0 record -- without losing a set all season -- opened by splitting with Candor (Tioga County), 25-14, 23-25, and went on to split with Galway (Saratoga County), 25-20, 24-26, and lose to Mount Academy (Ulster County), 17-25, 14-25.

"We’re very proud of the girls," Eighmey said this morning by telephone from Glens Falls. "They left it all on the court. They didn’t give up."

The team's 2-4 record placed it behind Mount Academy's 6-0 and Galway's 3-3. Galway edged Candor 26-24 in its final set to claim the second spot.

Galway will take on Mount Academy at 2 p.m. this afternoon for the title.

Candor finished in fourth place at 1-5.

Eighmey said Pavilion, Candor and Galway were "pretty evenly matched" while Mount Academy was a cut above, calling it a "tremendous team with great hitters all around."

"They're definitely built to win, but we battled them," he said.

During the regular season and through the Section V Tournament and Far West Regionals, Pavilion was able to pull out the close matches. On Saturday, it dropped a couple -- one to Candor and one to Galway.

"We just weren't able to finish, but that's how it goes sometimes," he said.

Individually, junior middle hitter Lauren Kingsley was named to the All-Tournament team by compiling 13 kills and five blocks in the six sets.

Other leaders for Pavilion were Karlee Zinkievich, 13 kills and 13 digs; Paige Landers, 14 digs; Shea Amberger, six kills; Adeline Milligan, 10 kills and 12 digs, and Shannon Campbell, 26 assists and nine digs.

All told, prior to Saturday, the Lady Cougars won 38 consecutive matches in straight sets if you count the spring 2021 season.

Eighmey said he appreciated all of the community support, noting that his team had more fans in Glens Falls than the other participants.

“We have lots of people here. And then last night, we reserved a pizza shop and there were all kinds of people there as well," he said.

In Class C, Portville, the Section VI school that eliminated Le Roy in the Far West Regionals, posted a 6-0 mark and will face Millbrook (Dutchess County) at 2 p.m. today for the crown.

In Class AA, Victor, the only other Section V school in the state finals, went 6-0 and will go against Massapequa (Nassau County, L.I.) at 10 this morning.

The Pavilion Lady Gophers, pictured here with the Section V Class D2 trophy, put together a spectacular season -- winning all of its regular season matches before placing third at the NYSPHSAA championships in Glens Falls. Front from left, Shannon Campbell, Sara Logsdon, Paige Landers, Abby Lemley, Lily Macaluso, Karlee Zinkievich; back, Assistant Coach Rebecca Zinkievich, Jayvee Coach Betty Worthington, Shea Amberger, Lauren Kingsley, Adeline Milligan, Sara Laurie, Samantha Sikora, Coach Rex Eighmey.

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