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NEW YORK STATE VOLLEYBALL: CANDOR SEASON ENDS IN POOL PLAY ROUND (2021-11-20)

By TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
GLENS FALLS — After splitting its opening match in 2021 NYSPHSAA Girls Volleyball Championships pool play, Candor's season would come to an end with a pair of 2-0 losses at Cool Insuring Arena here Saturday.

The Indians fell to powerhouse Mount Academy, 25-16 and 25-11, before dropping a pair of heartbreakers to Galway, 25-23 and 26-24.

"We hadn't really faced that kind of competition," Candor coach Pam Quinlan said. "I thought as the day went on we played better and better and I think those last two games against Galway were probably two of the best sets that we played all season.

"I don't think I could ask anything more from the six girls that were on the court at a given time and the girls that were on the bench, either ready to come in or just supporting them and giving them the encouragement that they needed."

Candor faced some big, powerful hitters throughout the day.

"We don't face that in our league," Quinlan said. "We face tenacious teams on defense. We face aggressive hitters. We don't face that kind of size. We're not incredibly big, so to be able to shut down hitters like that, it's tough. I think we started to in some cases and defensively, I think we played well. It's hard when you don't really get a chance to really, practice that I would say, but, again, I think we played some great ball today."

MOUNT ACADEMY 2, CANDOR 0
The Eagles jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set and couldn't pull away until late while Candor was unable to catch up.

It was either team's game heading down the stretch thanks to a nice save by Isabel Makie which Janelle Marsh blasted off a defender at the net for a sideout, pulling the Indians within 19-16. Unfortunately for Candor, MA regrouped to score the final six points.

The Eagles grabbed a 5-1 lead in the second set as well. Leading, 8-5, MA worked its way to an 8-point advantage four times, the last at 18-10. The Eagles' biggest lead up to that point was 17-8 and they would finish the set with an 8-3 run.

Mount Academy is ranked fifth in the state and came into pool play with a 20-2 record, it's only losses coming against Class C power Millbrook, both by 3-2 verdicts.

The Eagles, a second-year team dominated play most of the day, going 6-0 in pool play and keeping its opponents under 20 points in five sets.

"Sometimes a team does that," Quinlan said. "If you can get all the players in the right places and they can gel like that, then you come in and just have a lot of things that you do well, and just take advantage of the other team's mistakes. Often times a team can do that."

GALWAY 2, CANDOR 0
Both teams needed a sweep and one set win from Mount Academy on the adjacent court to reach Sunday's championship match. MS did its part with a sweep of Pavilion

For Candor and Galway, each set turned out to be a hard-fought battle as neither team could take firm control over the other.

The Golden Eagles broke an 11-11 tie in the first set and pulled ahead, 17-13.

With Anna Greeno at the service line, the Indians crept back into the game, trimming the lead to 19-18 before Galway's Sadie Underwood, a 6-foot-3 middle hitter, stopped the surge with a big sideout shot.

Candor would knot the score at 22 and 23, but Underwood and Amber Kolpakas came through with key hits for the Eagles.

The second set saw Galway rally from an 11-8 deficit with a 6-point surge and built a 17-13 lead.

A pair of blocks by Shelby Swartz, a hard hit by Marsh off a front row defender and some solid serving by Greeno helped the Indians tie the game at 18.

Trailing, 23-22, some nice teamwork from Addie Aman and Wilcox helped Candor pick up a sideout to knot the score.

The two teams would be tied again at 24.

Galway (17-1), the top-ranked team in the state, will face Mount Academy for the title.

The Indians bid farewell to six seniors in Aman, Greeno, Kiera Heidl (injured), Makie, Swartz and Wilcox, although there's not much Quinlan can say right now to ease the sting of a tough day on the court.

"You know, there's not really a lot to say to them right now, except thank you for what they've done and what they have brought to the program, and the example that they they set for younger players on a day-to-day basis, both as volleyball players and as wonderful human beings," Quinlan said.

"We still have a lot of school and a lot of time to see them, so I'll still get a chance to interact with them. It's tough, because it won't be on the day-to-day basis that we have had for the last two or three months. I'm just grateful and just thank them for their leadership and who they are as people."

NOTE: Candor split with Pavilion earlier in the day, losing, 25-14, and winning, 25-23.

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STATS: Wilcox handed out 32 assists for the day to go with eight service points, 14 digs, two kills, a solo block and a block assist.

Swartz recorded 20 kills, 24 digs, five solo blocks, one block assist, six points, one ace and two assists; and Aman had 10 points, an ace, 32 digs, two kills and two assists.

Makie contributed eight kills, five points and 11 digs; Greeno served 13 points with one ace, and also had three digs; Marsh chipped in with seven kills, four points, two aces, six digs and one block; and Grace Handy added four kills and two blocks. =

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IN PHOTO 1: Candor's Isabel Makie (R). ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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