Shenendehowa, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake reach state girls’ volleyball finals

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Peyton Felix hits the ball against Shenendehowa’s Christina de la Rocha and Grace Almeida during their high school volleyball game at BHBL in Burnt Hills on Oct. 24.
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Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Peyton Felix hits the ball against Shenendehowa’s Christina de la Rocha and Grace Almeida during their high school volleyball game at BHBL in Burnt Hills on Oct. 24.

Shenendehowa and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake will play for girls’ volleyball state championships on Sunday.

Shenendehowa went 5-1 in the Class AA round-robin pool play at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls on Saturday, advancing to Sunday’s final against Lancaster at noon. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake finished 4-2 to advance to the Class A final against Calhoun at 2 p.m.

In Class AA, the Plainsmen beat Corning 25-6, 25-16, Lancaster 25-21, 25-12 and split with Massapequa 25-20, 22-25.

Shenendehowa coach Lori Kessler said the opening sweep of Corning was crucial.

“Last year we lost our first two sets to Massapequa, and it ended up affecting the rest of our day and made it very difficult to reach the final,” Kessler said. “So we took that experience and knew we had to win the first two sets this time to boost our confidence and release some of the pressure.”

Shenendehowa, seeking its first state title, is making its first state final appearance since 2017, when it lost a five-set battle to Connetquot.

Emma Paliwodzinski finished with 16 service points, five aces, four blocks, 11 digs and 68 assists. Grace Almeida had seven points, 11 blocks and 23 kills. Kasia Barletta added 15 points and 48 digs, while Reagan Ennist contributed five blocks, eight digs and 18 kills.

Also, Genny Saia had 18 points, 24 digs and 11 kills. Sabrina Kinkaid finished with 10 blocks and 15 kills. Destiny Snyder had 11 points, four blocks and 14 digs, while Liana Rizzo had 11 points and 16 digs.

“This team is a championship team because the talent is spread out and they all put forth 100% effort,” Kessler said.

In Class A, Calhoun topped Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in the first two-game match, 25-22, 25-21. The Spartans rebounded to sweep Irondequoit 25-23, 25-22, and then, needing to sweep Cornwall, did just that, 26-24, 25-12.

The Spartans are trying for their ninth state championship and their third consecutive one, having won in 2021 and 2019. There was no tournament in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Class C, Galway lost to defending state champion Portville 25-12, 25-13, rebounded with a split with Lansing, 23-25, 25-23, then lost to Port Jefferson 25-10, 25-8 to finish 1-5 and not advance to the final.

Lake George also failed to advance, finishing 1-5 in Class D. The Warriors lost to defending champion Mount Academy 25-9, 25-6; to Harley Allendale Columbia 25-20, 25-22 and split with Living Word, 25-19, 20-25.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports, Sports

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