AHS varsity and JV volleyball teams end season on winning note

Lately, five game matches have become common for the Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity volleyball team. In fact, three of the last four matches went to a fifth and deciding game. AHS was on the winning side in their last match of the season Thursday night in a Foothills Council crossover contest, 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 20-25, 25-21 over Glens Falls at Amsterdam High School.

“It went back and forth today,” Amsterdam assistant coach Alison Miller said. “The girls dug deep and fought back.”

Each game featured multiple ties and lead changes including the deciding fifth game. Amsterdam built a 21-13 lead behind the serve of senior Jessica Anderson forcing a Glens Falls time out. The Lady Indians got the ball back and responded with five points off the serve of Alissa Fairchild (20 points) to close the gap at 21-19. The Lady Rams then forced a side out with a kill from an unlikely source, junior Morgan Durinick, who normally assists on many AHS scoring attempts. Durinick took a pass from senior Alanna Kaminski and smacked it over the net to put AHS ahead 22-19. Glens Falls got the ball again on a side out but couldn’t convert on their last serving attempts. A point off the serve of Kaminski put AHS within a point of a win, and when Glens Falls got the ball back again, a serve from Karissa Rivers went into the net giving the Lady Rams cause for celebration.

“I was shocked,” said AHS senior Jessica Anderson when the final serve went into the net. “I’m glad we won for our last game.”

Thursday’s match was the last as a Lady Ram for Anderson, Kaminski, and Danielle Heck. The victory was a positive ending to the 2015 Amsterdam volleyball season.

“I’m happy for the seniors,” Coach Miller said. “I’m proud of them. It’s great to go out with a win.”

The play of both Anderson and Kaminski was crucial in the fifth game. The pair teamed up for 11 of Amsterdam’s points from the service line and Anderson had a kill at the midway point of the game to put Amsterdam up 13-7 before the teams changes sides of the net. Anderson and Kaminski made the most of their last game on the AHS court teaming up for 21 points, six assists and two kills. They had plenty of help at the net with Durinick setting a match high 18 assists, and Maria Lomanto (6 kills), Giulianna Pritchard (6 kills) and Kateland Cooks (10 kills) hammering the ball into the Glens Falls defense. Their constant play kept Glens Falls from getting into a flow from their serve and allowed AHS to get into one from theirs.

“We just had to break their serve,” Kaminski said.

Amsterdam rebounded after a game one loss and broke Glens Falls’ serve early on kills by Anderson and Lomanto giving Pritchard (8 points) a chance to serve the Lady Rams out to a 7-3 lead. Glens Falls fought back behind the serving and hitting of Rivers to take a 15-14 lead, but a kill by Pritchard broke the rally and put the ball in the hands of Lomanto who found her focus and gave Amsterdam some breathing room at 24-19. The quick reflexes of the Lady Rams at the net helped force a few Glens Falls errors along the way. Emma Bayle served the Lady Indians to within two, but a devastating hit by Cooks ended the drama and evened the match at a game apiece. Cooks was also big in the third game as well coming through with four kills including a hit at 9-5 and a block at 9-7 that keyed an AHS rally and tied the game. Cooks last two kills in the game three forced side outs. And, when Cooks wasn’t on the court as middle hitter, Pritchard was, and she continued to hammer the ball, coming through with a kill to put Amsterdam up 18-14. Kaminski’s serve benefited from the play of the two centers at the net and she served out the game. Cooks and Pritchard teamed up for 16 kills and five blocks at the center hitter position.

“They’re great up front,” Coach Miler said about Cooks and Pritchard’s play. “We get a lot of blocks and kills.”

Glens Falls took game four behind the hitting of Rivers, who had a team high seven kills, Arielle Maille who had 15 assists and four aces, and the serving of Jessica Jarvis, who had a match high 21 points, ten of which came in game four. Jarvis served Glens Falls to a 12-2 lead early before AHS rallied with seven points off he serve of Durinick to take a 17-16 lead. Jarvis later served up the final four points to force the deciding fifth game.

Lomanto had three kills early in the fifth game and gave a boost to the serve of Cinderea Chyzynowski (7 points) helping Amsterdam out to 14-7 lead before Anderson and Kaminski’s heroics. Durinick led AHS with a team high 16 service points. Chryzynowski was key on the defense with 21 digs. Chryzynowski, Cooks, Lomanto, Durinick, and Pritchard along with Ashlin Glionna and Gianna Petrone will return as a formidable team next season likely to be helped by additions from an Amsterdam junior varsity team that had a winning campaign this year in the Foothills Council. The match was however the last for Kaminski, Anderson and Danielle Heck, who was unable to play due to an injury suffered in a tournament from the past weekend.

“I’m happy we won,” said Heck, who as a setter helped Amsterdam defeat Johnstown and played well against a tough Hudson Falls team. “I’m sad that I couldn’t play, but it was nice to end the season with a win.”

The Amsterdam varsity volleyball team ended the season winning two of their last three Foothills Council matches.

Amsterdam junior varsity volleyball completes winning season

The Amsterdam junior varsity team wrapped up their season in similar fashion as the varsity getting a win and completing an impressive 9-3 winning record in the Foothills Council including wins over division opponents Broadalbin-Perth, Gloversville, and Johnstown. The young Lady Rams earned a 25-17, 25-8 win over Glens Falls on Thursday.

“Playing consistently, playing with heart, and playing together,” said Amsterdam junior varsity coach Chris Crosby when asked about the keys to the teams’ success. “Today was special. Probably because it’s their last game until August. They knew they could play well against this team and maybe that gave them a little more motivation, and it may be their last game together as a team.”

Mady Carmona led the way for Amsterdam with seven service points, three aces, one kill and ten assists. Alyssa Kuchis had eight points and two kills and Krystal Dicaprio contributed nine points and two kills. The game was also the first time on the court for team manager Anahi Bracero. Carmona, Kuchis, Dicaprio, and Brancero are put of a team that includes Nicole DeRose, Abigail Saines, Lyndsay Suidy, Lillian Orengo, Talia Peconie, and Alyssa Swartz.

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.