The Schenectady volleyball team was one game away from sectional elimination Tuesday in its Class AA rematch with Niskayuna at the Pat Riley Sports Center.
“We really pulled together. We didn’t want to go home, and we came through,” senior Meghan Devlin said after the Lady Patriots ended the Silver Warriors’ hopes of a repeat title. “We got our minds in the game.”
And feet, hands and everything else in a stirring comeback victory.
Devlin and Heather Joslin both had 14 kills, Sabrina Kristel
assisted on 39 points and Marse Pulley had seven blocks off the bench as Schenectady rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat Niskayuna in another five-game thriller between the neighboring teams to advance to the semifinals.
“Niskayuna is an amazing team, and they had the momentum, but we know what they do. Bump, set and spike, over and over,” Joslin said after finishing off the match with a scoring dink. “We got refocused, and during our timeouts, we kept thinking, ‘We can do this.’ ”
Schenectady (No. 4 seed, 13-6) had momentum early, lost it and then regained it to not only avenge last year’s title-match defeat, but also a 2006 quarterfinal loss to Niskayuna (No. 5, 11-8).
Schenectady won the fourth game in last year’s showdown
before Niskayuna took the fifth behind the hitting of Beth Halayko to earn the Section II large-school banner.
“We knew from the beginning that this was the team we wanted to beat. This feeling is amazing,” said Joslin, a senior, who also blocked four drives in Tuesday’s 25-21, 19-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-16 21⁄2-hour triumph. “We played as a team. We worked as a team.”
“It’s something that has to come from the kids. All I do is encourage and keep positive,” said first-year Schenectady coach Jessica Meliosky. “It came from the kids’ heart and desire to move their feet and win.”
Schenectady did its best work
after Niskayuna took the second and third games. In the fourth and fifth, the Lady Patriots never trailed after racing to 4-0 and 3-0 leads.
Joslin had a kill to give Schenectady a 24-18 lead in the fourth game, which ended on a Niskayuna carry. Joslin also came up big in the fifth game with a kill to make it
23-16, and, after an out-of-bounds hit, with her successful dink into open space.
“We changed some people around, and changed up some things defensively,” said Meliosky, a former Amsterdam volleyball star. “For our eight seniors, this is a huge win. It was their last shot. That was brought up a couple of times in the huddle.”
Kristel led the Lady Patriots with 17 points, Jaklyn Adams and Devlin both had 16 points, Amanda McLean added nine kills and Luciana Dominquez totaled five digs.
Sara Moore led Niskayuna with 15 kills and four aces, while sisters Carissa and Cristina Vazzana came away with 21 and 20 digs, respectively.
Niskayuna built a 9-2 lead in the second game before Schenectady closed to within 20-18. Katherine Cocca had two stuff blocks in Niskayuna’s 5-1 run to close it out, and Alexandra Radcliff had another to finish the game.
Niskayuna held a 23-18 lead in the third game, and after Schenectady closed to within 23-22, Rachel Meachem scored on a dink before a net ball ended it.
Schenectady will play Bethlehem (No. 1, 13-4), and Ballston Spa
(No. 3, 15-6) will take on Shenendehowa (No. 2. 16-4) in Thursday’s semifinals at Guilderland.
Danielle Moriarity had 15 points, six kills and three aces, Jess Lawlor piled up 30 assists and Courtney Karis chipped in with seven kills to lift Ballston Spa past Colonie, 25-14, 25-16, 25-15. Tehresa Coles had six kills for Colonie (No. 6, 10-10), and Paige Rueckert had nine assists.
In Class A quarterfinals, South Glens Falls (No. 2, 18-1) swept
Mohonasen, 25-13, 25-14, 25-15, and Big 10 champ Troy (No. 3, 15-0) defeated Queensbury, 25-11, 25-17, 25-21.
Brittany Hobbs had 15 kills, Lindsay Holden had 12 kills and Devin Smith collected 25 assists for South Glens Falls, which has lost only to Schenectady. Erin Barnes had five kills for Mohonasen (No. 7, 8-12).
Emily Jones had nine kills and nine digs, Bridget Hagerty had six kills and five blocks and Shannon Jones contributed four kills and 25 assists to propel Troy. Maggie Zuhlke had 18 assists and three aces for Queensbury (No. 6, 6-10), and Katelyn Cartier had 14 digs.
Katelyn Franks and Karlie Haack combined for 27 kills, and Britney Lintner had 39 assists as Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (No. 1, 21-0) avoided Hudson Falls’ upset bid, winning, 25-15, 24-26, 25-22, 17-25, 25-17, in a Class B quarterfinal. Melissa McDonald amassed 42 assists for the Tigers (No. 9, 9-9), and
Brielle Bartlett had 16 kills.
“Hudson Falls was the best No. 9 seed I’ve seen in 27 years of coaching,” said RCS coach Ron Racey.
Defending Class B champ Johnstown (No. 4, 15-4) will get Ravena in the semifinals after knocking off Glens Falls, 25-20, 27-25, 25-21. Danielle Nellis and Amanda Meredith joined for 13 kills, and Kaylee Gillen had 26 assists for the Lady Bills. Maureen Mahoney paced the Indians (No. 12, 9-9) with 10 kills and 17 digs.
Broadalbin-Perth (No. 2, 15-3) got 10 kills and eight digs from Lauren Lysiak and five kills and seven
assists out of Brittany Calvello, in a 25-11, 25-14, 25-14 Class B win over Holy Names (No. 10, 11-11).
Galway (No. 3, 16-2) beat Chatham, 25-14, 25-11, 11-25, 25-21, and Voorheesville (No. 2, 16-4) outlasted Saratoga Catholic, 25-10, 20-25, 25-18, 24-26, 25-10, to set up a semifinal meeting between the Eagles and the Blackbirds.
Becca Wilday and Katie Lasak both had 14 points, Nicole Jones had eight kills and Heather Sickler had seven kills, three aces and three blocks as Galway eliminated Chatham (No. 6, 14-9).
Seneca Gray had 21 points, nine kills and 10 digs for Voorheesville, while Rebecca Bablin had nine points, 12 kills and 10 blocks and Mollee Barone assisted on 38 points. Gabrielle Rizzo led the Saints (No. 7, 15-7) with 12 points and three kills.
Nikki Robitaille had 14 kills and four aces, and Aimee Lefebvre had seven kills and 23 assists in Waterford-Halfmoon’s 24-26, 8-25,
25-18, 25-21, 25-22 Class D comeback against Hartford (No. 4, 14-7). Courtney Sousie had seven kills and four aces for Waterford (No. 5, 18-2).
Mayfield (No. 2, 17-2) got seven kills, 11 points and six assists from Kacie Edwards in a 25-16, 25-19,
25-15 Class D sweep of Fort Plain (No. 7, 7-9). Heather Voght had seven kills and seven blocks for the Hilltoppers, and Stephanie Searles had 10 digs.
top seeds advance
Top seeds Saratoga Springs and Shenendehowa found their offensive groove in the second half and advanced to Saturday’s Class A title game at Knox Field.
Miriam Frost scored on a penalty stroke with 12:40 left, and Carly Fuller knocked in a goal at the 7:40 mark as Saratoga (No. 1, 16-2) beat Bethlehem, 2-0, for its eighth consecutive victory.
“The first half was played between the 25s. Neither team could get much going,” said Saratoga coach Jo-Anne Hostig, whose Blue Streaks are the reigning sectional champs. “In the second half, we started out much more intense, and started to get penalty corners and shots.”
Taylor Matties assisted on Fuller’s goal, and Meredith Farley made five saves for her second straight shutout. Devon Keir made four saves for Bethlehem (No. 4, 9-8).
Mandy Ferro notched three second-half goals, two assisted by Lexi Williams, in Shenendehowa’s 3-1 semifinal victory over Shaker. Mel Scuderi also had an assist, and Brittany Steele made five saves as the Lady Plainsmen (No. 2, 14-6) reached their second title game in three years.
Michele Acheampong made six saves for Shaker (No. 6, 8-12), which had won seven of eight coming in, including a triumph over Shenendehowa.
All of Tuesday’s scheduled games in both the boys’ and girls’ tournaments were postponed and/or moved.
The lone remaining Class AA boys’ quarterfinal between Colonie and Bethlehem has been moved to today at Colonie at 3:30. The winner would have to play the following night, at the same site, in the semifinals.
The Colonie/Bethlehem winner will take on Shenendehowa in the second game Thursday night. Guilderland and Shaker play at 5.
Changes were also made in the boys’ Class CC, C and D finals.
The four girls’ “AA” quarterfinals were moved from today to Thursday.
The Class A and B semis were moved to today, which also resulted in alterations to the Class CC, C and D semis.
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Categories: High School Sports