The Waterford-Halfmoon girls’ volleyball team set some objectives back in August, and met each and every one.
“The other day, I had to make up a new goal for them,” said Fordians third-year coach Mike Glenn. “To get to Sunday.”
Unlike Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Johnstown and Voorheesville, Waterford-Halfmoon will be making its first state semifinal appearance Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The top two teams in each class advance from pool play to Sunday’s title matches.
“It’s been a miracle year, that’s for sure,” said Glenn. “We’ve always had a decent program, but this year has been something else.”
Waterford-Halfmoon ended Loudonville Christian School’s eight-year Central Hudson Valley League unbeaten streak, and finished in a first-place tie with the Eagles. The Fordians followed up by becoming the school’s first girls’ team to win a Section II championship, topping Mayfield in a marathon final. The beat continued in the regionals, when the Fordians dealt Chateaugay its first loss of the season in three sets.
“I’ve told them all along that the only thing that’s going to stop them is not working as a team,” said Glenn. “The biggest thing is the way they play together.”
Getting out of Section II started with a sweep of Hartford before the Fordians went four sets with Argyle and five with Mayfield. The Fordians had never played in a sectional final before, and after winning the first two sets and dropping two, came out on top by taking the last, 25-23.
Carly Howe had 10 kills and five blocks against Mayfield, and put up the same stat line against Chateaugay. Michaela Miller, the Fordians only senior, also had 10 kills against Chateaugay, while Emily Jones contributed 29 assists.
“In my first year, we made the sectionals and went to Hartford, and it was not a good match. Right there, I decided we will not to into the sectionals again unprepared,” said Glenn. “The next year, we did a team camp and a summer league, and we won a sectional game. At the end of the season, everyone wanted to keep playing.
“We opened the gym all summer and did a camp again, and when they came in this year, they hit the ground running.”
Glenn handed his players pencil and paper on the first day of practice, and asked them to put forth their goals.
“The first one was to beat Loudonville Christian. The second one was league champion. There were a couple of teamwork goals in there, and the last two were win sectionals and get to the states,” said Glenn.
Waterford-Halfmoon’s pool group includes Tioga, Randolph and Haldane, the 2011 state Class D champ and 2012 runner-up to Ellicottville. Randolph took the title in 2010.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time and do what we can,” Glenn said of the pool competition that begins Saturday at 3. “The goal is to do enough to get to Sunday. That would be huge.”
Filling out the Waterford-Halfmoon (17-2 in regular season and playoffs) roster is Abby Haldeman, Emily Schumaker, Erin Formosa, Alexa Caruso and Katlynn Wulff. Alex Lefebvre, the 2012 CHVL MVP, has missed the season with a knee injury.
“I hope they enjoy it,” said Glenn. “We’ll have all of our kids back next year plus Alex, and our JV team went 13-4 with all freshmen. We’re thinking we might be able to get back here, but things could happen. You never know what’s going to happen, so I want this group to really enjoy the experience.”
Spartans at GFCC
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Bethlehem will see action in the state boys’ volleyball tournament today at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Spartans (21-3) will be making their Division II debut. The Eagles (26-1) will be competing for the fourth year in a row in Division I after stalling in pool play in each of the previous three.
Bellmore, the 2012 state champ, and Victor, the 2011 and 2010 winner, will join Burnt Hills in the Division II field. The Spartans beat Mohonasen for Section II honors before getting past Horseheads and Jamesville-DeWitt in regional competition.
Burnt Hills made six consecutive Class A regional appearances from 2004-09 (winning in 2007). The expanded state tournament began in 2010.
Bethlehem beat Shenendehowa for Section II laurels and secured its fourth straight regional title by topping Owsego and Suffern. The Eagles will be joined in Division I by Sachem East and Fairport.
Fairport beat McQuaid, the state Division I champ in 2012, 2011 and 2010, in the Section V final.
Opening ceremonies are at 1:30 followed by pool matches, and the titles will be decided at 6.
D’Amario signs with Virginia
Niskayuna All-American lacrosse player Mike D’Amario signed his national letter of intent with the University of Virginia Wednesday.
D’Amario, Luke Goldstock and Lucas Maloney became Section II’s first attack unit from the same school to earn US Lacrosse All-America honors last season after they led the Silver Warriors to Suburban Council, Section II Class B and regional championships.
Goldstock and Maloney are attending North Carolina and Penn State, respectively.
D’Amario piled up 72 goals and 44 assists as a junior. He scored six goals twice and had his final four in Niskayuna’s 10-9 state semifinal loss to Garden City.
Virginia went 7-8 last season after a loss to North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game and failed to make the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time since 2004. The Cavaliers have been to the NCAA tournament 35 times and have won five champinships, the last in 2011, while finishing second four times.
Niskayuna midfielders Ryan Lawson (Quinnipiac) and Reed Avveduti (Sacred Heart) also signed Wednesday.
Sophomore quarterback John Feyerabend of Unatego set a state passing record with 581 yards in last weekend’s 80-53 Section IV Class D title-game loss to Tioga.
Feyerabend became the sixth New Yorker to pass for over 500 yards, going 29-for-40 with seven touchdowns. He broke the record held by Greg Paulus, who passed for 543 yards for CBA-Syracuse in a 2003 game against Auburn.
Brian Grastorf of Niskayuna holds the Section II single-game record with 436 passing yards against Schenectady in 2005.