CARS HOMES JOBS

School volleyball: Tough SC schedule prepared Spartans for sectionals

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
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Should Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake make it through the Section II Class A tournament bracket again, Spartans’ volleyball coach Gary Bynon just might e-mail a thank you note to his counterparts from Shenendehowa and Guilderland.

Each of those Class AA teams took a set from Burnt Hills during its run to the Suburban Council North Division championship.

Bynon said getting pushed and pressured was a good experience because it will likely happen again as his group strives to add to a BH-BL resume that includes 10 consecutive Section II titles and 17 of them going back to the 1991 season.

“The level of play in the Suburban Council has really stepped up,” Bynon said. “We had some great matches in the league this year, especially with Shenendehowa and Guilderland. They helped prepare us, and I’ve got to think we helped prepare them.”

Burnt Hills (16-0) and Guilderland (15-1) are No. 1 seeds for the Section II tournament, with Shenendehowa (13-3) one spot behind the Lady Dutch. The other No. 1 seeds are Johnstown (11-3) in Class B, Voorheesville (16-0) in Class C and Argyle (12-0) in Class D.

“This is a tested group. Our kids have been through it, and not only against the Suburban Council teams,” said Bynon. “We’ve faced some of the best teams in the state.”

Burnt Hills and Class B heavyweight John Glenn went at it four times in the regular season, and the state champions from last season split four tournament meetings. John Glenn beat Burnt Hills Saturday in the Horseheads Tournament final, 25-22, 25-21, and Shenendehowa took the first set against the Spartans Monday, 25-23, before they won the next three.

“Shenendehowa is a very young and very talented team,” Bynon said. “It was good for us.”

Guilderland and Burnt Hills split two sets before the Spartans rallied late to win the third and prevailed in four earlier in the season.

“At this time of year, it’s how teams handle adversity. At some time some things are going to happen. Does a team not handle it? Does a team pull together, put things aside and do it?,” said Bynon. “When you see the champions at the end of the sectionals, you’ll see teams that handled adversity well.”

South Glens Falls gave Burnt Hills a scare in last year’s title match when it won the third set, 29-27, before the Spartans regrouped and took the next, 25-14, to extend its sectional streak. South Glens Falls was the last team to beat Burnt Hills in a final, in 2001 (Class B).

“Our girls have worked hard and come together the last few weeks,” said Bynon, whose 24-2 overall team is anchored by setter Erica Ziskin, libero Siena Wilder and outside hitters Molly McCormack and Kathleen Schurman. “I think the Guilderland match was important for us because they came out of that realizing they don’t get too much unless they get it together.”

Burnt Hills will host No. 8 Amsterdam (6-6) in Friday’s quarterfinals, while No. 2 Queensbury (14-0) entertains No. 7 Troy (10-2) in a match pitting the Foothills Council and Big 10 champions. Queensbury is coming off a title-winning effort at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Tournament.

A Class AA play-in today sends No. 9 Colonie (6-10) to No. 8 Saratoga Springs (6-10), with that will traveling to Guilderland for the quarterfinals. Shenendehowa beat Guilderland for the 2011 Class AA flag, and the Lady Dutch topped the Lady Plainsmen in their lone meeting this season.

“We lost in three. They [Guilderland] were definitely hungry. They came after us and avenged their loss,” Shenendehowa coach Lori Kessler said. “No one enjoys losing, but in a way it was a good loss because it gave us something to work toward. At that point we knew we wanted to get back to the finals.

“If Guilderland makes it, and we get there, it’s going to be great volleyball.”

Shenendehowa was swept by Burnt Hills before Monday’s rematch, when the Lady Plainsmen not only took the first set, but also battled tough in two-point loss in the fourth.

“We competed and went after it,” said Kessler. “We didn’t get the win, but it was definitely a confidence boost for us.”

Shenendehowa has only two players back who saw significant time last season in sophomores Taylor Murphy and Hayley Macken. Shenendehowa has 10 sophomores in all, and only two seniors in Devyn Morlock and Brooke Lane.

“It’s been a growing process. We’ve grown and matured, and I feel we’re ready for the sectionals,” said Kessler. “We’re ready to go after it again.”

Johnstown won the Class B title last year and Voorheesville is the two-time defending Section II Class C champ.

The Bethlehem boys completed their second straight 18-0 Suburban Council season Tuesday with a 25-16, 21-25, 26-24, 25-23 win over Shenendehowa (15-3). Nate Kane had 14 kills and Kevin Mahar had 32 assists for the Eagles.

SECTION II TOURNAMENT

CLASS AA

Play-in

Today

9. Colonie (6-10) at 8. Saratoga Springs (6-10), 5 p.m.

Quarterfinals

Friday

Colonie/Saratoga Springs at 1. Guilderland (15-1), 5 p.m.; 5. Columbia (9-7) at 4. Albany (7-7), 5 p.m.

6. Bethlehem (8-8) at 3. Shaker (10-6), 5 p.m.; 7. Schenectady (7-5) at 2. Shenendehowa (13-3), 5 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday, Oct. 31

At Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 5 and 7 p.m.

Championship

Saturday, Nov. 3

At Stillwater, 4 p.m.

———

CLASS A

Quarterfinals

Friday

8. Amsterdam (6-6) at 1. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (16-0), 5 p.m.; 5. Niskayuna (5-11) at 4. Gloversville (8-6), 5 p.m.

7. Troy (10-2) at 2. Queensbury (14-0), 5 p.m.; 6. Averill Park (5-11) at 3. South Glens Falls (9-5), 5 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday, Oct. 31

At Broadalbin-Perth, 5 and 7 p.m.

Championship

Saturday, Nov. 3

At Stillwater, 6 p.m.

CLASS B

Play-in

Today

9. Cobleskill-Richmondville (6-10) at 8. Emma Willard (5-7), 5 p.m.

Quarterfinals

Friday

Cobleskill-Richmondville/Emma Willard at 1. Johnstown (11-3), 5 p.m.; 5. Holy Names (11-5) at 4. Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (9-3), 5 p.m.

7. Ichabod Crane (8-8) at 2. Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (15-1), 5 p.m.; 6. Hudson (10-6) at 3. Schalmont (13-3), 5 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday, Oct. 31

At Albany, 5 and 7 p.m.

Championship

Friday, Nov. 2

At Stillwater, 8 p.m.

———

CLASS C

First round

Today

1. Voorheesville (16-0), bye; 9. Saratoga Catholic (11-2) at 8. Tamarac (8-2), 5 p.m.; 12. Watervliet (8-8) at 5. Maple Hill (15-1), 5 p.m.

14. Catskill (8-8) at 3. Galway (13-1), 5 p.m.; 11. Fonda-Fultonville (9-7) at 6. Greenville (15-1), 5 p.m.; 10. Schuylerville (6-4) at 7. Broadalbin-Perth (8-6), 5 p.m.; 15 Chatham at 2. Hoosic Valley, 5 p.m.

Thursday

13. Taconic Hills (8-7) at 4. Loudonville Christian (12-0), 5 p.m.

Quarterfinals

Friday

At highest remaining seeds, 5 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday, Oct. 31

At Saratoga Springs, 5 and 7 p.m.

Championship

Friday. Nov. 2

At Stillwater, 6 p.m.

———

CLASS D

First round

Today

9. Duanesburg (7-6) at 8. Fort Edward (6-6), 5 p.m.; 11. Canajoharie (5-8) at 6. Schoharie (11-2), 5 p.m.; 10. Berne-Knox-Westerlo (6-7) at 7. Germantown (8-4), 5 p.m.

Quarterfinals

Friday

Duanesburg/Fort Edward at 1. Argyle (12-0), 5 p.m.; 5. Mayfield (9-4) at 4. Waterford-Halfmoon (10-2), 5 p.m.

Canajoharie/Schoharie at 3. Lake George (9-4), 5 p.m.; Berne-Knox-Westerlo/Germantown at 2. Hartford (10-2), 5 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday, Oct. 31

At Hudson Falls, 5 and 7 p.m.

Championship

Friday, Nov. 2

At Stillwater, 4 p.m.

 
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