Jackie Malusa leads Glenn to second straight girls volleyball title
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- A 3-0 win over Skaneateles gave Glenn its second straight Class B state title Sunday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The 25-13, 25-13, 25-15 victory completed the school's third championship season since 2007.
"I'm so excited that it happened again," senior Jackie Malusa said. "We all put forth so much effort. All that practicing finally paid off."
Glenn jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first game, thanks to four early kills by Malusa, and never looked back. Malusa came up with another big kill after Skaneateles scored six straight to cut Glenn's lead to 17-12. Her slam stopped the run as Glenn took seven of the next eight points.
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Malusa, who was named MVP of the Class B tournament, finished the title match with 19 kills and two blocks.
That first game set a tone of dominance that Glenn would take into the final two games.
"We had to start off fast," outside hitter Samantha Czeczotka said. "We knew we had to move fast to beat their defense."
Glenn faced six ties early in the third. After knotting the score at seven, Glenn rattled off four points, ending Skaneateles' final threat of the day.
"It was tough," Malusa said of the opening moments of the third game. "But we knew we could pull through and take another state title."
As if scripted, it was Malusa who slammed down the final point of the match, leading to a pile of Spiders swarming the court, finally able to celebrate after a two-day marathon in upstate New York.
"My best memory will be being with the girls on the court after the last point of the last game," Czeczotka said. "Having everyone storm the middle of the court was such a great feeling."
For Malusa, 2012 represented a different kind of championship. As one of six seniors, she took on a larger leadership role than during the first title run.
Like a volleyball being set up for a kill, Malusa struck the opportunity with all her might. "I love being the leader. It's so much fun," she said.
She hopes that her leadership lives on. Throughout the tournament, Malusa spoke of a strong volleyball tradition at Glenn. Together with her teammates, she has added new chapters as the Spiders have woven a tight, program-wide web.
A web of champions.