Emily McCormick captured sectional titles in the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle for AuSable Valley.
The AuSable Valley Patriots volleyball team is looking to travel down the same road they have for the past four years.
The Patriots completed the first step on that road Nov. 2, beating the Plattsburgh High Hornets, 3-0, in the Section VII/Class C championship game, their fourth straight.
The win advanced AuSable Valley (17-1) to the regional semifinals, where they faced the Potsdam Sandstoners Nov. 6 in Massena. With a win, the Patriots would meet fellow four-time defending sectional champ (II) Voorheesville, who has defeated AVCS the three previous seasons to advance to the state volleyball championship meet at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
That’s where the Patriots are hoping they’ll be able to remove the road block and continue on.
“We have worked so hard to get to this point,” senior Mirissa O’Neill said. “We want to go on into the state tournament and get to Glens Falls. I am proud to be a part of this team.”
“It is nice to have been able to end a high school career with a perfect record in sectionals, but as far as I am concerned, there are still a lot more games to be played in states,” senior Miranda Sheffer said.
“I am so proud of everyone and so excited to be on this team,” senior Noelle Miller said. “I was so excited on the final point when I went up for the block and I saw the ball hit the floor on their side of the net.”
“This is a very special group that comes around only once every 30 years,” head coach Sandra Hoey said. “Their work effort is second to none and the three captains (O’Neill, Sheffer and Miller) lead the team with ability and leadership on and off the court.”
Miller tallied 10 kills, seven digs, five aces, three blocks and one assist. Sheffer added 13 digs, eight kills, six assists and two aces; while O’Neill had 11 assists, five kills, three digs and one ace.
Junior libero Alexandra Lincoln returned from an injury in the championship game to provide nine digs and two aces for the winning side.
“I am really happy I could come back and play with everybody in this game,” Lincoln said. “I wanted to be a part of this game. We all play really well as a team and keep encouraging each other.”
Sheffer said she was also happy to have Lincoln back and praised Lizzie Maloney, who filled in for Lincoln while she was out.
“Lizzie stepped up into a big role and we are very proud of her,” Sheffer said. “Having Alex back is another key to help us get to where we want to go.”
“We have added depth and we can switch them in and out because Lizzie knows the role,” Hoey said. “Alex is still not 100 percent, so having two players that can play the libero allows us to keep taking it slowly. We have depth that can step up in their roles.”
Hoey said the team needed to work on passing and return of serve but she was confident in her team’s ability.
“We need to play our game,” she said.
Lindsay Brown added six kills, three digs and a block, while Jocelyn Racette had three aces, one kill and one dig; Lizzie Maloney two digs; and Lindsay Christian two digs.
While AuSable Valley freshman Emily McCormick picked up a pair of Section VII swimming championships Nov. 2, she was very happy one came with the help of her friends.
McCormick swam the second leg of the opening event of the meet, the 200 medley relay, along with senior Tonie Cross, freshman Lydia Brown and senior Haley Sprague.
Their time of 2:12.41 had them in second place behind the Plattsburgh High relay team on the scoreboard, but a quick look at members of the Hornets told a different tale, as officials determined an improper exchange on one of the relay legs would give the win to the Patriots.
“I thought, it can’t be true,” McCormick said. “I feel bad for them, but I am really excited for our team. I was able to go to states last year and this year I get to go with my teammates.”
For Cross, the win marks the first state appearance for her in her final year of high school swimming.
“I never really expected this, my mind is just going crazy right now,” Cross said.
McCormick was not out of the pool long during the sectional championship meet held in her home pool at AVCS, competing in the second race of the event, the 200 free, where she picked up her second title of the day with a time of 2:12.50.
For McCormick, the wins gave her four career titles in her first two years of competition.
“It is amazing to be going back,” she said. “I think that it is going to be exciting to do multiple events. I am going to be practicing a lot on my turns and my relay starts.”
Cross said she also plans to work hard to prepare for the state meet, which will be held at Ithaca College Nov. 22-23.
“I need to work hard on my starts and my endurance,” Cross said. “I want to keep the pace that I had here in sectionals.”
However, the team did experience one setback on the day, as McCormick, holding the best time of the season entering the 500 freestyle race, was defeated by Alexis Kelley of Plattsburgh High, whose time of 5:37 was the only sub-five minute mark of the entire season in the event.
Other top results included:
200 medley - Emily Wood, fourth, 2:49.40
50 freestyle - Lydia Brown, third, 28.63 seconds
100 butterfly - Lydia Brown, second, 1:08.50
100 freestyle - Emily Wood, fourth, 1:08.29
200 free relay (Tonie Cross, Haley Sprague, Megan Zmijewski, Emily Wood) - second, 2:07.69
100 backstroke - Tonie Cross, fourth, 1:13.09
100 breaststroke - Erin Butler, 10th, 1:39.05
400 free relay (Emily McCormick, Megan Zmijewski, Emily Wood, Lydia Brown) - second, 4:26.63
Chapter after chapter, the Elizabethtown-Lewis v. Chazy sectional rivalry keeps fans of North Country high school soccer wanting more.
The Lions and Eagles delivered another classic in the Section VII/Class D boys soccer championship game Saturday, Nov. 2 at Plattsburgh High.
For the Lions, however, the ending was also more familiar than they were hoping for.
Scoreless through 80 minutes of regulation and the first 15 minutes of golden goal overtime, the Eagles scored on a rebound in the 103rd minute of play to score a 1-0 win and advance to the regional finals against Section X Saturday, Nov. 15, also at Plattsburgh High School.
“We executed our game plan well,” head coach Paul Buehler said. “Chazy is a well coach, exceptional program. Sometimes our best plan is to not allow them to execute theirs.”
The Eagles held an 18-4 advantage in shots for the game as Justin LaPier recorded 10 saves in net for the Lions, including several timely saves to keep his team in contention. Trent Blais made a pair of saves for Chazy.
“Justin is a great leader in the back,” Buehler said. “Everyone needed to play their best game of the season tonight and I think he did that.”
Chazy held the majority of possession in the first half, while ELCS started to chip away at the Eagles defense in the second.
“We wanted to wear them down and not let them execute, and we started to get a transition game together,” said Buehler, who added that he was pleased with the accomplishments of his team.
“I have three players who had not played soccer two years ago that contributed to this team,” Buehler said. “We are still pretty young and there is a lot of talent in the younger kids.”