Serving errors costly for Lady Rams volleyball

Walking into the Amsterdam High School gymnasium on volleyball night, everyone could feel the excitement. AHS junior Cinderea Cryzynowski bumped the ball into the air as teammate Morgan Durinick ran under it and set it high in the air as Maria Lomanto took the position, then leaped up and smacked it over the net and to the floor on the other side. The AHS gym celebrated. But, lately that’s where the excitement stops. The ball doesn’t make it over the net on the next serve. Serving errors again were costly to Amsterdam as the Lady Rams dropped a 25-22, 25-18, 25-11 match to Foothills Council division rival Gloversville Thursday night at Amsterdam High School.

“Our serving kills us,” Amsterdam head coach Christine Sherlock said. “We came to play in game one, but we’re having trouble maintaining intensity throughout a game.”

The first game of the match was the best for the Lady Rams and they led early at 5-2 after points by Jessica Anderson and Ashlin Glionna, and then later at 7-6 following kills by Lomanto and Kateland Cooks. But, the Lady Rams couldn’t keep the momentum flowing because they couldn’t hold their serve. There were ten times in game one alone where the ball was served into the net or off the court keeping AHS from going on a run to close out game one, and they had their chances.

Gloversville’s serve in the first game wasn’t consistent either. A kill by Lomanto tied the game at 18-18, but the momentum faded when the next serve was in the net. Jazmyn Eberts inched Gloversville closer to the win at 20-18, but a serve out-of-bounds and a kill by AHS sophomore Giulianna Pritchard knotted the score at 20-20. Again, AHS had some energy, but it was short-lived and gave the ball back to the Lady Huskies on the serve. The teams traded points on side outs before Gloversville’s Bri Port (12 points) served out the game.

“Not maintaining intensity combined with service errors is what kills us,” Coach Sherlock said.

Gloversville’s serving improved in game two and jumped out to a 9-2 lead behind Port, Eberts, and Aspen Darling (12 pts., 3 kills). A pair of aces by Durinick put AHS within striking distance at 9-5, and later a pair of points off Lomanto’s serve at 12-9, and a kill by Cooks (4 kills). However, Amsterdam lost Cooks for the rest of the match on the next play when the middle hitter rolled her ankle. Pritchard took over at the center of court and led AHS with 5 kills. Gloversville had everything going their way even when the ball hit the ceiling of the AHS gym as the next play was the longest rally of the match, and one that ended with a kill by GHS’ Abbey Johnson. The Lady Huskies got the bounces off the net as well, including two that tipped off the net on the serve and fell in between the front and back courts of the AHS line pushing the score to 23-14. A serve out-of-bounds by AHS later gave the Lady Huskies the game two win. Gloversville took a commanding 21-4 lead in game three, a run stopped briefly by a pair of points off the serve of AHS senior Danielle Heck. The Lady Huskies took the last game 25-11, but despite the loss, a young AHS team showed improvement.

“I saw some improvement,” Coach Sherlock said. “We didn’t commit as many errors as we did last night (against Scotia-Glenville) where we had service errors and hitting errors.”

Amsterdam (1-4 Foothills Council) will host another division rival on Wednesday. The defending Section 2 Class C champions Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots come to the AHS gym for a 6pm contest.

“We always play up for them,” Coach Sherlock said. “Maybe we will play to the level of our competition.”

The Lady Patriots (5-0 Foothills Council) are also a New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) finalist from last year returning four starters from the 2014 team that lost to only Eden High School in the state tournament finals.

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.