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Millbrook, Pine Bush, Cornwall Join Mount Academy In State Final Four

CROSS RIVER – Mark this 24-hour time period down for posterity.

Late Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, to late Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 – a seminal moment for Section 9 volleyball.

Millbrook, Pine Bush and Cornwall high schools all won their respective regional finals on Saturday, joining Mount Academy as four schools from the section that advance to the New York State Final Four next weekend in Glens Falls.

Pine Bush swept Ossining in Class AA, 3-0; Cornwall needed a dramatic fifth-set win to stun perennial powerhouse Hendrick Hudson, 3-2, in Class A; and Millbrook rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat Valhalla, 3-2, in Class C.

They join Mount Academy, which won the Class D regional championship on Friday night, in the Final Four.

“It’s awesome. It puts a statement out there about Section 9 volleyball,” Millbrook coach Shawn Stoliker said. “We have amazing coaches and amazing players. It says a lot to have four teams going up there.”
For Stoliker and the Blazers, this will be their sixth trip to the state Final Four and third in four years after a 17-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-18, 25-20 victory over Valhalla.

“It was intense, I’ll tell you that,” Stoliker said. “In the six times we’ve gotten there, this is the hardest it’s ever been.”

Sam McKenna and Erin Fox again led Millbrook. McKenna had 26 kills, 11 digs and a pair of aces and Fox had 28 kills and 17 digs.

Cecelia Dignan had a whopping 47 assists, 14 digs, three kills and an ace, this despite suffering through a rough third set in which she was whistled for numerous double-touch violations by the officials.

“She had quite a bit of problems and a little bit of it got into her head,” Stoliker said. “But she’s such a fantastic setter that when she was able to get the ball out of her hands we were able to put it away.”

Julia Testa has six big aces and 13 digs, and Bella Darnell and Callie McGuire both had two huge kills in the fifth and deciding set.

Getting back up there, obviously it’s awesome. Every time we get to that point it’s with a new group of girls,” Stoliker said. “Some have been there, some haven’t. It’s an awesome experience to have them feel this for the first time. Some of the eighth graders and ninth graders are getting their first taste of it.”

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