AHS Volleyball challenges Johnstown, JV call-up stays on varsity

There was a smile on Morgan Durinick’s face Wednesday night after the Amsterdam Lady Rams volleyball match with Johnstown at Amsterdam High School. It wasn’t because the Lady Rams won. Johnstown took the match 25-12, 25-14, 25-10. But it was because Durinick learned that she would be staying at the varsity level.

Durinick was called up from the Amsterdam junior varsity team this past Saturday for the Schalmont Invitational Tournament when Amsterdam was in need of another setter. The rookie wasted no time in making an impression leading Amsterdam with 10 service points, eight assists, and five kills. More importantly, she earned an All Tournament Team selection in her first varsity appearance.

“She’s been playing well at the jayvee level,” said AHS varsity coach Christine Sherlock on the Lady Rams latest varsity addition. “We needed a setter with Brittanie Brown taking SAT’s, and she made All Tournament Team her first time out. When you do that you stay at the varsity level.”

Amsterdam’s varsity team already features three sophomores in the starting lineup. Maria Lomanto, Kateland Cooks, and Cinderea Chrzanowski have gone through a trial by fire battling some of the toughest teams in the Foothills Council and Section 2. Durinick’s call up adds yet another building block for the team’s future.

The Lady Rams, supported by a vocal crowd, came out fired up against the Lady Bills. Durinick started and quickly helped AHS to A 4-0 lead. Lomanto, and Chrzanowski would also record points keeping the Lady Rams close before Johnstown would pull away behind standout Annie Stock. Amsterdam had plenty to cheer about during the match especially when Lomanto blocked Stock in the first game and then again in the third. The second stop brought up the noise level in the AHS gym. The Lady Rams weren’t going down without a fight.

“Obviously for the seniors we wanted to go out swinging,” said Coach Sherlock. “It was still a good day. We made them work for it. Whenever you can get up and block a girl like Stock then you know they had to work for it.”

Game three featured several long volleys that the Lady Rams turned into points. A kill by senior AHS Destinee Smith ended one rally. Cassandra Santiago smacked one to the floor ending another. The play at the net showed incredible athletic ability from both teams. Amsterdam came up with saves on several Johnstown kill attempts led by Chrzanowski with 6 digs. Johnstown turned it up a notch in the end though for the win.

“I thought for a team, we came out with energy,” said Coach Sherlock. “For a team with one win these kids come to practice and games and are still positive.”

Annie Stock finished with nine kills for Johnstown. Jerica Holland’s 25 assists, Ashlin Cosselman’s 11 aces, and Rachel Hansen’s 17 points were tops for the Lady Bills.

For Amsterdam, Lomanto added an ace and a kill to her two blocks. Chrzanowski finished with 2 service points and an ace. Jessica Anderson added three service points, Brown had six service points and two aces, and in her first varsity match at the AHS gym, Durinick had 3 service points, one ace and one kill.

“It’s good for the future,” said Coach Sherlock. “Morgan got to play with the seniors. I started her in Brittanie’s spot tonight and Brittanie welcomed her. It’s good that the younger ones were welcomed by the seniors. They showed good sportsmanship and that’s good to have.”

Amsterdam travels to Glens Falls today at 4pm for a Foothills Council crossover match. The Lady Rams are looking to finish with a win. Amsterdam defeated Glens Falls in three games earlier this season for their lone victory.

(Photos by Scott Mulford)

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.