Starting sophmores are building AHS volleyball future

Ask any high school varsity volleyball coach and they will tell you that having players start young at the varsity level could be the building blocks of a good team. Amsterdam’s match against Gloversville on Wednesday night at AHS might be seen as an example of that philosophy. AHS coach Christine Sherlock’s staring line-up featured three sophomores. And while the match was a victory for Gloversville (25-18, 25-17, 25-9), the Lady Rams are showing the skills, enthusiasm, and intensity that could make for a bright future in the Foothills Council. The starting sophomores, Maria Lomanto, Cinderea Chrzanowski, and Kateland Cooks may hold the keys to that future.

“Maria reminds me of Sandy Martin,” Sherlock said, “she’s very young and has a lot to learn. Her intensity and tools are there. She’s a basketball player playing volleyball. I hope she becomes a volleyball player playing basketball.”

Martin was an All Star player for AHS in 1995 when the Lady Rams produced dramatic win after win in the Big 10 earning them a spot in the Class B sectionals. Martin was also a basketball player at AHS but was well known to the volleyball community for her powerful serve and hitting ability. Teams were always aware that Sandy Martin was on the court. Lomanto displayed some power of her own leading AHS with five service points, three aces, and three kills against Gloversville.

“Maria has that power she just needs to know how to rein it in,” Sherlock said. “I think she’s starting to love the game. She cares.”

Lomanto’s teammate Cinderea Chrzanowski has also showed the skills important to any team but on the defensive side.Chrzanowski has been playing the role of libero on the team. A libero is often known as the ‘super sub’, or someone who can substitute for any player during the game.

“Coming in as a libero, she eats it up,” Sherlock said. “Having to get to a lot of hard hit balls she’s doing a great job.”

Chrzanowski has been providing plenty of strong play in the back court often leading her team in digs. Wednesday night she recorded 12 digs many of which were off an opponents kill attempts giving her teammates a chance to set and hit. Chrzanowski’s game is also a versatile one as well.

“She’s an excellent hitter, but her team needs her defense. She’s o-kay with that.”

Chrzanowski contributed five points, one ace and five assists in Amsterdam’s cause. AHS’ third starting sophomore Kateland Cooks is developing her skills as well.

“Kateland is developing as a setter and as a leader,” Sherlock said. “She’s being put in positions where she can hone her skills. She’s not quite there yet, but she’s developing those skills.”

Cooks’ position on the court may be that of a setter but, as one of the tallest girls on the court she can be versatile as well and contributed a pair of kills versus Gloversville.

“I thought tonight there were times when they looked like a volleyball team,” Sherlock said. “The third game they kind of lost it in their heads. Number one (Jenna Putnam) just beat us. She’s done it to us before.”

Amsterdam rallied several times to tie or lead in the first two games against the Lady Huskies. Jessica Anderson served up five points in game one pulling AHS even at 11-11. Chrzanowski and Brittanie Brown rallied AHS again to within four at 20-16, but Lizzie Peak and Jenna Putnam closed out the game for Gloversville.

Game two saw Amsterdam lead 5-0 behind Lomanto’s serve, and 7-2 behind Brown. Gloversville tied it at 7-7 once again getting kills from Putnam and Jazmyn Eberts. Lomanto and Chrzanowski helped AHS battle back to 17-17, but Putnam and Jessica Clet rallied Gloversville to the win.

Game three belonged to Gloversville starting with five service points from Christina Pavlovsky. A pair of aces from Putnam who finished the match with 12 aces, 12 kills and nine assists put the game out of reach at 16-4. Four service points from AHS senior Destinee Smith provide a late rally, but a kill by Kendra St. Andrews and an ace by Stacia Griesemer of Gloversville ended the match.

Pavolvsky finished with 14 assists, and Peak added six kills for Gloversville. Anderson had six points, Smith and Cassandra Santiago had a pair of kills each for the Lady Rams.

Amsterdam fell to 0-6 in the Foothills Council, but the team is starting to show the skills necessary to be successful. Sherlock compared Wednesday’s effort to Monday’s match with former Big 10 rival Schenectady.

“If we played the way we did tonight on Monday, we would have won,” she said.

The Lady Rams will be home on Wednesday, October 1, against Foothills Council rival Broadalbin- Perth.


Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.