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Lake Placid’s Julia Crawford, right, kicks the ball with Saranac Lake’s Anica Null trying to block during Monday’s game in Lake Placid. (Business Photo – Parker O’Brien)

LAKE PLACID – For the past six seasons, the Saranac Lake volleyball team has dominated Lake Placid, winning every game between the two teams since Lake Placid last won on Oct. 7, 2015.

But on Monday, the Blue Bombers got their revenge at home by beating the Red Storm 3-1 by scores of 25-22, 12-25, 25-20 and 25-23.

After Lake Placid won the first set of the match, the team allowed Saranac Lake to steam through them in the second. But the Blue Bombers were determined to prevail, especially since Red Storm edged them in five sets earlier this season.

Lake Placid went on to win back-to-back sets to close out the match on top. The team overcame every setback, while Saranac Lake’s biggest lead in that streak was five points.

“The first time we faced them this season – losing by two in five sets – it was disappointing and it was hard to lose,” said Blue Bombers head coach Sandy Huber. “It showed us that we could do it and that we were good enough to play with them. We were surprised at how well we played. Being so close before, I think we had the extra confidence and motivation we needed today.

Saranac Lake’s Azra Michael prepares to hit the ball over the net in Monday’s game against Lake Placid. (Business Photo – Parker O’Brien)

“I think if the last game hadn’t been close – however it had gone – I don’t think we would have been so motivated. Because it was so close, every member of the team really wanted him and they played like they needed to.

In the home-and-away game, nearly everyone on Lake Placid’s roster contributed from both ends of the court, with eight players recording a dig and seven players earning a point or kill.

Junior Nadia Philip led the way for the Blue Bombers by finishing with a triple-double. She recorded 16 digs, 13 kills, 10 points and two blocks. Senior Julia Crawford also had a solid game for Lake Placid with 21 kills, 18 digs, three points, an ace and an assist.

Sophomore Norah Galvin was the Blue Bombers’ leading passer with a game-high 35 assists and contributed nine points, eight digs, two aces, one block and one kill. Sophomore Sydney Garrison, who led the team with 14 points, had seven digs, an ace and an assist.

The win marked the second in a row for the Blue Bombers, who previously defeated defending Division VII Class D champions the Northern Adirondack Bobcats 3-1 on Oct. 12. The win also improved the team’s overall record to 7-6, which is the first time Lake Placid has won seven in a season since 2015.

Saranac Lake’s Emily Gay hits the ball during Monday’s game against Lake Placid. (Business Photo – Parker O’Brien)

“Since day one, they got along very well and played well as a team,” Huber said. “Last week they all played very well at the same time. I think for everyone to have their best game at the same time, that’s what we’re going to need to continue to be successful through Sections.

For the Red Storm, the loss put them back to 7-6 and ended their two-game winning streak – both of which were sweeps.

“I think for both teams it was very competitive. This game was filled with all kinds of emotions. The difference was that Lake Placid was dealing with their emotions when they were down. My team was selfish,” said Red Storm head coach Mike Navarra. “Individually what they do – if they make a mistake – is they fall apart and the team follows and that’s exactly what happened tonight. They didn’t been able to get over the fact that they were challenged by Lake Placid, and that’s a shame because Lake Placid is a great team, they just beat NAC, who beat us once and we got them (today ).

Navarra said his team needed to work on the mindset of the game, as well as the emotional side.

“(Just) knowing that every point isn’t complete until the ball hits the ground”, said Navarre. “Unfortunately for my team, once we went over they were just happy when the ball went to the other side. That’s called desperation, and when they make the same mistakes again and again, it’s madness. They have to be able to adapt and change their ways, but I think they played well.

Saranac Lake junior Anica Null had another stellar night, finishing with a game-high 29 digs while contributing with 12 kills, 10 points, two blocks, one block and one assist. His kills were enough to break the school record for most kills in a season with 131. The previous record was set by Mia Sanford with 127 in 2021.

Senior Malea White managed a team-high 14 takedowns while recording 28 recoveries for the Red Storm. Azra Michael had 23 assists, 15 digs, eight points, two kills and an ace. Emily Gay had a team-high 12 points and five aces, along with 16 digs and two kills.

As the season draws to a close, Navarra said he has no plans to change the roster. He just wants to see some consistency from his players before the sections.

Both teams were scheduled to return to the volleyball court on Tuesday. Saranac Lake was to accommodate the northern Adirondack, while Lake Placid went to Peru. The Blue Bombers next host Northeastern Clinton at 6 p.m. Thursday, while the Red Storm take on Peru on the road at 6 p.m. next Tuesday.


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