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Glenn's state championship run ends

John Glenn's Grace Cergol keeps the ball in

John Glenn's Grace Cergol keeps the ball in play against Honeoye Falls-Lima. (Nov. 16, 2013) Credit: Tim Roske

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- Replacing a handful of key seniors was no easy task for Glenn this season. The two-time defending Class B state champions had to integrate important players to a team that has built a volleyball dynasty on Long Island.

The Spiders entered pool play at the Glens Falls Civic Center yesterday with a chance to add more hardware to the mantle. After running off four straight victories to start, Glenn needed to win one of two games against Johnstown to secure a spot in the final on Sunday.

Glenn was unable to defeat Johnstown before dropping a do-or-die tiebreaker game to Owego, 25-16, to send the Spiders home without the state championship trophy for the first time since 2010.

"It was going to be hard and it was such a great experience because nobody thought we could make it this far," senior captain Stephanie Viteritti said. "The fact that we did and we proved people wrong was amazing. I just wish we could have gone further."

Glenn started out hot, defeating Honeoye Falls-Lima of Section V by the scores of 25-18, 25-17. The Spiders then handed Owego of Section IV its first two pool play loses, defeating them 25-23, 25-19.

But the two losses to Johnstown set up that final, win-or-go home game against Owego.

"What we did well against them in the first match was we served tough and then they didn't pass well so they couldn't run their offense," coach Kevin Harrington said. "When they got the ball to their setter we were at a disadvantage at the net."

That wasn't anything new for Glenn, which Harrington said was the smallest team he's ever coached.

"The way to compensate is by playing fast and having better ball control," Harrington said. "That's what we needed to do but it's not what we did in that last game."

Glenn will look to reload for 2014 with a slew of young players that got in valuable experience on the biggest stage but it's still tough for Harrington to not think, 'what if?'

"I think it's more frustrating and more painful to be in that position where you have three chances to get one game to go to the finals -- and we didn't get it done," he said. "We played well to get to that position but you have to be able to finish it."

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