Penn Yan girls volleyball sectional champs!

Rob Maeske
The Chronicle-Express
The Penn Yan girls volleyball team defeated the Attica Blue Devils in the Section V volleyball championships. The Mustangs swept the match with scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-18.

In the Class C1 Sectional Tournament April 30, the Penn Yan Mustangs (8th seed) defeated the Dansville Mustangs (4th seed) in the semifinal round 3 to 1, with scores of 25-18, 25-21, 22-25 and 25-21, in order to reach the championship final.

The 8th-seeded Penn Yan girls volleyball team defeated the 2nd-seeded Attica Blue Devils in the final round of Sectionals, securing the Class C1 title in the Section V volleyball championships. The Mustangs swept the match with scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-18.     

"The match at Attica, we knew was going to be tough," said PY head coach Bryan Bobo, "but, I never could have foreseen us dominating the way that we did."  

Even making Sectionals this year was never a sure thing for Penn Yan. Up until the start of the tournament, the Mustangs season record was 7-9 overall and just 5-7 in the Finger Lakes East. 

"This season was definitely a roller coaster," said Bobo. "I knew this year would be tough losing all the seniors that we did last year...every match we won was a fight."

Bobo continued, "The last week of the season it was looking like we weren't even going to make Sectionals this year. Our fate ended up being in the hands of other teams we needed to win and lose."      

The Mustangs did make it in, though, barely snagging the last seed in the tournament. 

"When we found out we made it in...I could see a renewed look in the team," said Bobo.

That look came from a new sense of confidence within the team and with that confidence came a gelling of what had been working for them through the regular season; solid teamwork and a foundation of fundamental skills. 

Entering Sectionals with a new resolve, PY's game against WOIS in the first round of the tourney showcased their renewed energy and was possibly the best game the Lady Mustangs had played all season. Their next stop in Dansville was a close and hard-fought match, but the girls from PY would not be deterred, winning the match 3-1. The Mustangs had just one opponent left in their way, entering their match against Attica as a true underdog as PY had fallen to the Blue Devils the previous season.

"That could have been a match that went a completely different way after how we lost to them last year still being on their minds and also being a true away game," said Bobo. "I couldn't have been more proud of the way they came together like they did for these last three matches of the season. They showed everyone a glimpse of what the future will look like for Penn Yan Volleyball."

Perhaps the strongest player for the Mustangs this year has been Jammie Decker. The 5'11" sophomore was a consistent stat leader for her team throughout the season and was awarded Tournament MVP for Sectionals. Also honored were PY's Hailey Trank and Lauren Schilling who were named to the Class C1 All-Tournament Team. 

Commented Bobo, "Every girl on the team played an important role this season. Each player is important to the development and success of the team, and if one of those pieces breaks down, the whole team crumbles with them. So while Jammie was the foundation, every one of the girls on that roster deserves credit for our successes this year."

Looking at the future, coach Bobo was optimistic.

"It's funny to say we can only go up from here since we just won the sectional title, but I truly believe that is the case," he said. "We have a young team and there is a lot of talent coming up in the middle school and JV programs. We set the bar for what we want Penn Yan Volleyball to look like on a consistent basis and I think with the talent and work ethic of the girls in the program, we will be successful for years to come."