Victory over an opponent in any sport can be achieved by being consistent in every facet of the game. Inconsistency can cost you. The Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity volleyball team learned that lesson Thursday afternoon dropping a 25-9, 25-20, 25-18 decision to Foothills Council foe Schuylerville at Amsterdam High School.
Amsterdam had already lost the first game of the match that was dominated by Schuylerville senior Kayla Burdick (19 service points, 10 kills) who at one time ripped off seven straight points, leading her team to the win. But the Lady Rams played a much tighter second game.
A kill by Amsterdam junior Maria Lomanto swung the momentum in Amsterdam’s favor pulling them within a point of tying the game at 18-17. However, that momentum was short-lived when a serve by Lady Rams sophomore Giulianna Pritchard appeared to be mis-hit and headed for the back wall of the gym. The Lady Rams began to celebrate and it proved to be costly. Schuylerville’s Andrea Sabo got to the ball and bumped it back over the net. It fell without being touched. The momentum was gone.
Head Coach Christine Sherlock called a time out and she and Assistant Coach Allison Miller talked to the team. Amsterdam had led several times during the second game and were up 15-13 following a kill by Pritchard, but Schuylerville, led by Burdick and junior Tylor Graham (12 points, 2 aces), took advantage of the chance to take control of the match. A kill by Lomanto brought the crowd to its feet and inched AHS closer at 21-20, but Amsterdam could not hold its serve and a kill by Burdick gave Graham a chance to serve out game two. The Lady Rams serving had been inconsistent throughout the match giving the Lady Black Horses plenty of opportunities to extend their lead in each game.
“The first game we were off and we should not have been,” Sherlock said. “We did a lot of good things once we got the offense flowing, but our defense and serving were spotty and it cost us.”
Amsterdam’s offense showed plenty of life in the second game. Blocks by Pritchard and senior Jessica Anderson were quickly turned into points. Six of Pritchard’s team high eight kills came in the second game, and most of them were set up by junior Morgan Durinick, playing in only her second game of the season. Having Durinick back in the lineup has certainly been a boost for the Lady Rams offense.
“Having Morgan back is really important,” said Amsterdam senior Alanna Kaminski, who along with Durinick led AHS with six points each from serve. “She sets the ball really high and that gives us a chance to get more kills. We need kills to score points. We’ve been practicing a lot better and trying to get our hits and blocks in.”
Durinick and Kaminski teamed up for nine assists helping the AHS offense. The pair set up Lomanto (4 kills) and Kateland Cooks (4 kills ) in the third game to pull Amsterdam close at 10-7. The Lady Rams continued to battle with kills by Cooks and Lomanto and a pair of clever tips over the net by Durinick, but an early 7-0 deficit proved a little too much to overcome and the Lady Rams dropped to 1-2 in the Foothills Council, and 1-3 overall.
“I felt that this should have been a win tonight,” Sherlock said. “We just have to keep getting better. There are no easy wins in the Foothills Council.”
Amsterdam will travel to Schenectady on Monday for a 4:30pm contest with their former Big 10 foe before returning home next Thursday to face Foothills division rival Gloversville.
(Photos by Scott Mulford)