STILLWATER - Annie Stock came through with 20 kills for the Johnstown Lady Bills in their match with Schalmont.
But none were more crucial than the last one, a solid drive down the line that hit just inside the line to cap off a three-game sweep of the Sabres and claim their second-straight Section II Class B volleyball championship, 3-0, by scores of 25-22, 25-22 and 25-22.
Johnstown (17-3) advances to regional play and will face the Section VII champion Tuesday at AuSable Valley.
The Johnstown volleyball team poses with its plaque after winning the Section II Class B championship over Schalmont on Friday at Stillwater High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
As they did in their semifinal victory, the Lady Bills got off to a quick start behind a game-opening service run by senior captain Zara Hyde.
However, the Sabres rallied back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game and took a 14-9 lead on Rachel Pineda's mid-game service run.
After a timeout, Johnstown rallied back behind services from Hyde and Brianne O'Rourke and a strong kill from Stock to tie the game at 16.
Class B Championship
Johnstown 3, Schalmont 0
(25-22, 25-22, 25-22)
Class C Championship
Voorheesville 3, Greenville 0
(25-17, 25-9, 25-13)
Class D Championship
Hartford 3, Argyle 1
(8-25,, 25-18, 25-22, 25-15)
Stock served the Lady Bills back into the lead and Hyde pushed a shot over the net the fell to the floor for a 25-22 game one victory.
Schalmont put the Lady Bills in a 5-1 hole to start game two, but Hyde was at the line again to string seven service points together, including three aces, to put JHS up 13-11 and forcing Sabres' coach Kevin Meachem to call a timeout to regroup his troops.
Schalmont fought back to take the lead and held a 22-21 advantage when the Lady Bills earned a crucial side out, again putting Hyde at the service line with the score knotted at 22 apiece.
Hyde served up an ace and Stock followed with three powerful kills to lock up the 25-22 game two victory.
"I like being at the service line with pressure," Hyde said. "I had a good coach when I was younger [Jim Gabeler] and I have a very good coach now."
With a two-game edge, Johnstown coach Heather McGuire was not ready to have her team relax.
"I told the girls we won two, however, they came back after being down two against Ravena," McGuire said. "By no means is this done. They are fighters and they proved the other night that they have it in them. They [the Lady Bills] knew it wasn't a give me after the second game.
Neither team could get a run going early in the third game, before Hyde served up three straight aces and Stock added another kill to spring Johnstown out to a 15-12 advantage.
The resilient Sabres came back to tie the game at 16 before Jerica Holland put together a short service run for Johnstown to open a 21-18 lead.
Schalmont got back to within a point, 22-21 before O'Rourke won a battle at the net for a side out and senior Elizabeth Hayward serviced Johnstown out to a 24-22 lead, setting up Stock's drive down the line for the game winner and sectional championship point.
"We definitely had to adjust on the run. We are used to the power games we face against teams like Queensbury and South Glens Falls," McGuire said. "Having to adjust to tips in the middle is something we had to do on the fly. They definitely did a good job keeping us on our toes. They are a very tough team."
Stock finished the match with 18 digs to go with her 20 kills, while Hyde finished with seven aces, five kills and 26 assists. Hannah Breda contributed 10 kills and four blocks and Alyssa Nellis came up with seven digs.
"We all put our hearts into this game," Hyde said. "We have been playing together for a long time but this [sectional championship] means a lot more to me because I am a senior."