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Glenn falls short in state Class B final

John Glenn's Simi Familusi tries to match Williamsville

John Glenn's Simi Familusi tries to match Williamsville South's firepower during the Class B girls volleyball state championship on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - Glenn's official nickname is the Knights, but for the past 20 years, the girls volleyball team has referred to itself as the Spiders.

Coach Kevin Harrington said his current players lived up to the spirit of their unofficial mascot, which he described as a "survivor.''

After a string of upsets, Glenn's season came to an end Sunday with a 3-0 loss to Williamsville South in the state Class B final. Williamsville South won, 25-16, 25-23, 25-23, to deny Glenn its third state championship in four years.

Senior hitter Simi Familusi had 12 kills and six digs and junior setter Grace Cergol had 15 assists, six kills and nine digs for Glenn (18-5), which overcame odds all season.

"We were the three seed in the county playoffs,'' Harrington said. "We upset number two, we upset number one, we beat Nassau and we beat two of the other three teams at states.

"That's where we get the nickname 'the Spiders.' Spiders are survivors, and 20 years ago, the team kind of rallied around it and it became a volleyball thing ever since.

"The last couple of weeks, they really identified with that, because they've been hanging in there. I give them a lot of credit for what they've done.''

Williamsville South (18-5) dominated the end of the first set, finishing on a 7-0 run and winning 17 of the final 25 points. Glenn started well in the second set, going up 8-1, but another strong finish by Williamsville South put the Spiders in a 2-0 hole.

Glenn's fighting spirit again was on display in the third set, when the Spiders fought off six match points to cut a 24-17 deficit to 24-23 before the Billies closed out the match.

"Our team's motto has become 'what happened yesterday doesn't matter today,' '' Familusi said. "That's what our team spirit has been.''

When she looks back on this team, Familusi said she will think of "every single one of these girls and how amazing they made my senior year. Without just one of them, it wouldn't have been the same.''

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