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Patriot spikers advance to C title game

Noelle Miller sets for a serve against Saranac Oct. 31.

Noelle Miller sets for a serve against Saranac Oct. 31. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— The AuSable Valley varsity girls volleyball team will look for its fourth Section VII/Class C title after scoring a 3-0 match win against Saranac in the sectional semifinals Oct. 31.

The host Patriots treated themselves on Halloween to wins of 25-8, 25-10 and 25-13 against the Chiefs, using a pair of 10-0 point runs in the first and third games.

"Their libero was really strong so we tired our best to keep it away from her," senior setter/attacker Miranda Sheffer said after the game. "We knew Saranac was going to be tough and was not going to give us anything."

The Patriots used a pair of long runs in the first game, scoring 10 straight on a side out and service game by Lindsay Brown to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 13-4 lead. Jocelyn Racette then served eight straight points as part of a 9-0 run with Sheffer connecting on a game-ending ace.

In the second game, the Patriots used a pair of 6-0 runs on their way to a 22-10 lead before Sheffer fired three straight aces to seal the 2-0 lead.

The two teams battled back and forth in the third game until Sheffer again went to the service line with a 16-13 Patriot lead. The senior co-captain helped end the game on a 9-0 run with four aces and four assists, including a helper on the match-ending kill by Mirissa O'Neill.

The win put the Patriots (16-1)in position to win their fourth straight Class C championship, which will be played Saturday, Nov. 2, 3:30 p.m. at Clinton Community College. The team will face Plattsburgh High, who scored a 3-0 win against Northeastern Clinton to advance.

"We are trying to get our fourth sectional title, which is part of the goal that we have to get to Glens Falls," Sheffer said of the next step towards a potential state championship appearance. "We need to stay confident and believe in what we can do. We know what to expect when it comes to this time of the season and we just have to go out and work hard."

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