CORNING - After a second straight STAC West title a week ago, the Hawks head into Section IV Class AA pool play on Thursday as the No. 1 seed.

With Corning hosting the sectional tournament as the top seed, it will also have the advantage of playing every other match instead of back-to-back matches and it will also have a lot of home support.

“We definitely have the best student section,” senior Gabi Jankowski said. “It’s awesome, the energy they bring, they keep us upbeat and ready to attack.”

The Hawks (10-4) have recorded wins against all of the teams in pool play including No. 3 seeded Horseheads (8-6), No. 2 seeded Binghamton (9-5) and No. 4 seeded Elmira (6-9) and that familiarity with the teams helps Corning gameplan against them.

“I go back and pick out where we struggled against those teams and what we did well in what rotations,” Corning head coach Irene Furness said. “We’ve changed our lineup three times this year, so all the teams haven’t seen the lineup they will see and that might be an advantage.”

With only four returners from last year’s team that made a state final four appearance, the Hawks know that it requires them to be on their game starting Thursday if they want to get back to that point.

“It’s a lot of work,” said senior Ashlyn Hartman, who was on the team last year. “I think this team has a lot of potential to get there. I think if we keep getting more comfortable and better every day we can get back there.”

Pool play will start at 4:30 p.m. as the four teams square off with the best two records advancing to the sectional finals on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Corning.