GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- Babylon's historic girls volleyball season came to an end Saturday, as the Panthers were eliminated in pool play at the state Class C tournament.
Although Babylon failed to win here, it was difficult to find a disappointed member from the team that won its first Long Island championship.
"I think we're really proud to make it this far and to end the season like this, but I don't think we're disappointed," senior Mary Tighe said. "Obviously we wanted to go further but we're proud of ourselves."
"We knew this would be a tough competition for us but we won our first county title and our first Long Island championship so coming here to represent at the state championships . . . this was just extra," coach Patrick Donaldson said. "For the girls to participate in this was a big deal."
Saturday, teams played three rounds of pool play with two games against three different opponents. At the end, the two teams with the best record after six games advanced to Sunday's championship match. Babylon was fourth among the four teams in Class C, while Eden and Voorheesville will play for the state crown.
Babylon lost both games to Voorheesville in the first round, 13-25, 18-25. The Panthers put forth a better effort in the second round against Millbrook (section IX), losing the next two 19-25, 19-25, and said they believed their play was improving heading into the third round.
"Our first game we didn't know what to expect but we played our best and progressively got better as the games went on," senior Nicole Marro said. "I think we were in it the entire time."
But in the third round against Eden, Babylon fell behind early in both games, and lost them by the same score of 12-25.
Donaldson said he was proud of his team's defensive play, particularly that of Marro and Brianna Goodfellow. Goodfellow said she hoped her effort and this experience would inspire the underclassmen on the team to repeat as Long Island champions next season.
"I've been playing with these girls for three years so it meant a lot to get here our last year and to get our underclassmen here too so they can see what it's like to get back next year," Goodfellow said.
Babylon's first Long Island championship came in a win over Oyster Bay in straight sets Nov. 13, as the Panthers battled through a grueling deciding game to clinch the title. In the Suffolk class C playoffs, Babylon was the top seed and again survived a tight third game to sweep Mattituck in the semis and later took care of Greenport-Southold in the finals.
The Panthers finished at 17-2.
"Overall this was our best season," senior Elizabeth Tighe said. "We made some mistakes here but we couldn't have asked for anything more."