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Lake Placid volleyball drops both home games

From left, Melanie Megliore, Julia Crawford and Bailey Smith huddle after a point during a match on Tuesday, Sept. 21. (News photos — Parker O’Brien)

LAKE PLACID — For the first time this season, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake’s volleyball teams faced off in a CVAC match on Monday, Sept. 20.

The rivalry game was played in Lake Placid as the first of two back-to-back home games for the Blue Bombers. The Red Storm won 3-0, by scores of 25-13, 25-10 and 25-4.

The win was the fourth of the season for the Red Storm along with the fourth straight sweep. The team also swept Plattsburgh on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Although the Red Storm have showcased strong performances all season, Saranac Lake head coach Mike Navarra wants the team to stay focused.

“For us working as a team and getting positive results is really the ultimate goal,” Navarra said. “Wins come but so do losses.”

Lake Placid’s Melanie Megliore gets ready to make a play during a match against Beekmantown on Tuesday, Sept. 21. (News photos — Parker O’Brien)

In the front of the net, Saranac Lake’s Mia Sanford and Marley Small made it difficult for Lake Placid to get the ball past them. Sanford had six kills and four blocks; Small had seven kills, three blocks and three digs. Alison Hewitt had a great game on the defensive side with three digs for the Red Storm.

“The biggest factor was definitely teamwork and communication,” Navarra said. “I think defense overshadowed the serving and it was great and they did an excellent job.”

Senior Alyssa Lapierre led the way with a strong serving performance. She had five aces in the win. Lapierre finished with a game-high 14 points. Hewitt also had three aces.

“We got Lake Placid down and we kept them down and that was key,” Navarra said.

Lake Placid struggled to find its way in all three sets as the Red Storm cruised to victory “I think mentally this was the hardest match we have ever played,” Lake Placid head coach Sandy Huber said. “I’m really proud of my team for their good sportsmanship and they didn’t give up and they didn’t let it get in their heads and they played with class.”

Lake Placid’s Marlena Sharp crouches as she awaits a serve during a match against Beekmantown on Tuesday, Sept. 21. (News photos — Parker O’Brien)

The defense was a big factor in the Blue Bombers play. The team finished with 17 digs. Lake Placid’s Marlena Sharp and Aubrey Hayes played well on the defensive side. The pair finished the game with a combined nine digs. Sydney Lawrence also played well — she had three digs.

For Lake Placid, who had just come off a win against Northeastern Clinton last Thursday, the loss hurt, but the team will likely look to build off it.

“I think they have a lot of fight in them,” Huber said. “Thursday we had a great win and that gave us a lot of confidence and I think if we can put tonight behind us and play with the confidence we did last week I think we can get some wins.”

Navarra said the rivalry win was important. He said it’s nice for the girls to have a rivalry, but it’s even better to get a win. He added that he has a lot of respect for Lake Placid.

Lake Placid plans to look past the loss going forward.

“We got some fire in us and we are ready to go,” Huber said.

The next match between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake is set for Oct. 18 in Saranac Lake.

Bombers fall to Eagles

For the second time this week, Lake Placid’s volleyball team found itself on the wrong side of a 3-0 sweep at home against Beekmantown, Tuesday Sept. 21.

Unlike the game against Saranac Lake, the Blue Bombers fought until the very end of each set. The Blue Bombers lost by scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-19.

“Our theme was, work hard, work together, stay positive and have fun and they did all of those,” Huber said. “I’m not disappointed in the loss because I think they played with a lot of character and poise and they had fun.”

The Blue Bombers started the match by dropping its first two sets, but each set was a back and forth battle.

In the third set, Lake Placid took a 6-1 lead, which forced Beekmantown to call a timeout. The timeout helped shift the momentum as the Eagles went 13 to 2 run to take the lead, which made the score 8-14.

As both teams traded points back and forth, the Blue Bombers showed high energy when the team was within four points of Beekmantown, before eventually falling.

“I think a lot of times, Julia (Crawford) will have one really good hit or one really good block and she had a couple of big plays and we get pumped when those happen,” Huber said. “We get really excited and everybody just raises their level of play when that happens. We get really excited about it.”

Crawford controlled the front of the net the entire game for the Bombers, which likely gave energy to the team. She finished with 11 kills and a block.

“When we get a really good dig or a really good rally it just increases our energy a lot,” Huber said. “I think we just kept the energy up for a while.”

Lake Placid’s Marlena Sharp got 11 digs, which were critical on the defensive side for the Blue Bombers.

Sydney Lawrence had a standout performance on both sides of the court. Lawrence had 12 points, seven digs, an assist and a kill. Aubrey Hayes had a strong performance; she provided a team-high nine assists.

“I think we did great I was really impressed with their focus tonight,” Huber said. “I just talked to them about how smart they played and how they read what was happening on the other side of the court and they anticipated where the ball was going. On the awkward plays, we were reacting really well. I was really impressed with the focus and making good decisions.”

Huber and the team will likely want to build off the momentum and energy the team showed in the final set.

The Blue Bombers are slated to host Saranac Central on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.