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State Champions

Posted Monday, November 17, 2008 by Jamestown Post Journal

State Champions

Salamanca Sweeps In Class C Volleyball Final

GLENS FALLS - The Salamanca girls volleyball team captured the school's third state title on Sunday afternoon.

The Lady Warriors took on the Westlake Lady Wildcats in the Class C title match at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships and captured the title with a sweep. Salamanca defeated Westlake from Section 1, 25-15, 25-21 and 25-17.

It is Salamanca's first state championship in girls volleyball. The school also won a girls basketball state title in 1988 and in softball in 1998.

Not including pool play, the Lady Warriors finished the season at 20-0 while Westlake was 20-2.

It was the second straight year Westlake lost in the championship match. Last year, Westlake fell to Eden of Section 6 in the title match.

Leading the Lady Warriors in the title match on Sunday were Katie Auge, who had 12 kills, 20 digs and 14 points; and Ashley Abrams, who recorded 18 kills and 14 digs.

Both were named to the all-tournament team.

''It was a tremendous asset to have two outside hitters like that,'' Coach Tom Roof said about Auge and Abrams. ''We always had a threat on the outside.''

And also in the middle with Hannah Reynolds, who had seven kills and seven blocks.

''Having Hannah Reynolds in the middle was an added threat,'' Roof said. ''She played as well this week as she had all year. We needed someone at the net who could control the net and she did that for us.''

Brittany Haines recorded 37 assists for Salamanca while Olivia Beattie had nine digs, Kayla Siperek had seven digs and Lori Acosta picked up four blocks.

The Lady Warriors took the first game by a 25-15 margin and Roof said, ''That gave us a little momentum. We kind of stayed ahead of them by four or five points.''

And he added that the Lady Wildcats, ''Kind of fell apart.''

Salamanca won the second game, 25-21.

''That as really just back and forth,'' Roof said.

Then the Lady Warriors wrapped up the title with a 25-17 victory in the third game.

'It was pretty much the same as the first (game),'' Roof said. ''Once we got on a roll we just got better. They didn't have an answer for Auge and Abrams. who had a big third game.''

He added, ''I don't think they were used to seeing hitters like that, and also having to come from behind.''

Roof also noted that when Westlake's big hitter moved to the back row, the Lady Wildcats were noticeably weaker.

Looking back at when practice began in August, did Roof expect a season like this?

''I knew this was a good team,'' he said. ''I knew we had some talent there. And as we went on our role players got better.''

Roof also knew there were high expectations for the team, but he told his players, ''It's what we think we want to do. This was a goal. We worked for this. It wasn't just a dream.''

And Salamanca's postseason play, all on the road, also prepared the team to win a state title.

When the Section 6 Class C seedings were announced, Salamanca was seeded sixth, which meant all of the Lady Warriors' playoff matches were on the road.

The low seeding was because of a powerpoints system which Roof said he and his players accepted. Also, they played in Division 2, which included Randolph, that lost in the Class D state finals last year after winning the previous two years, and Portville, that won the Class D championship this year.

Roof said his team's attitude was, ''OK, lets show them who we are and show them we're better than a sixth seed.''

And Salamanca did by defeating Falconer, Roy-Hart and City Honors all on the road to earn a trip to the state tournament.

''Our section is really tough, that helped us prepare for this,'' Rook said.

He also noted that participating in tournaments at Webster and North Tonawanda were important.

The first time Salamanca faced Westlake was in its opening game of pool play and the Lady Warriors suffered a 25-22 defeat. But that was after trailing 24-16 and then the Lady Warriors put together at six-point run.

''That run helped us get it back,'' Roof said.

Salamanca won the next pool play game, 25-17.

Then it swept Westlake for a state title on Sunday.

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