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Eden caps perfect season with state championship

The Eden girls volleyball team completed its unblemished season by taking the Class C state championship with an easy 3-0 victory over Section I-Westlake on Sunday afternoon.

The 25-17, 25-12, 25-11 sweep gave the Raiders a 26-0 season and their sixth state championship, tying a record set by Sweet Home in 1995.

"I told the girls at the beginning of the season that I thought they had the potential to be the best Eden team we put on the floor and I think by the end of they year they proved that," coach Stephen Pierce said.

He said Eden had beaten its Westchester County opponent "very handily" in Saturday's pool play and "the girls were feeling pretty confident" before Sunday's match.

"In the first two games, we opened big leads early on," Pierce said. In the third game Westlake "didn't roll over and die. They played good defense and held us to around nine points. Then Stacey Smith served six aces and we opened a 19-9 lead and carried that to the end."

For the three games, Heather Henry had 18 kills, Katie Eschner had nine and Chelsea Hennigan, the only senior on the team, notched 39 assists.

"We had lost six seniors from the year before and this year we only had one senior, so we're looking pretty good for next year as well," Pierce said.

"Last year we were [state champions] in Class B. But our enrollment dropped just a little bit and we got knocked down to 'C' by one student," Pierce said.

Eden's six state titles came in 1996, 2000, '01, 02, '06 and '07. Sweet Home won six straight from 1990-95.

Haldane of Section I beat Randolph, 3-1, for the Class D title.

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