Lady Patriots volleyball team advances to Class C semi-finals

Passing the ball to a teammate in many sports can have a big impact on the outcome of a game. In volleyball, passing the ball to a teammate can lead to a hit over the net and a kill for the play. The Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots varsity volleyball team used an effective passing game to defeat the Albany Academy for Girls and advance to the Section 2 Class C semi-finals with a 25-9, 25-18, 25-4 win Friday night at Broadalbin-Perth High School.

The Lady Patriots faced their toughest challenge in the second game. Unlike the first game, where BPHS built a double-digit lead behind five kills apiece from Jordan Marshall and Megan Ryder, Albany Academy responded with the accurate setting by Sydney Buran (15 assists) and the powerful hitting of Lexi Shannon (9 kills) and Emily Padalino (3 kills) to build a 8-6 lead. The Lady Patriots had an answer of their own with Madison Fariello at the service line, getting kills from Ryder (8 kills), Marshall ( team high 9 kills), and Carly Sheffer (2 kills) to push ahead 12-10. A kill by Padalino ended the run, and two points off the serve of Carli Voellm tied the game as Albany Academy threatened to even the match.

“[Lexi Shannon and Emily Padalino] are both big girls,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Mike Calvello said. “They did a good job at the net. It took us a while to get adjusted. Albany Academy stepped it up in the second game.”

The momentum however was short lived. A tip over the net by Simonson put and end to the rally and the BPHS passing game took over. Sheffer set up Simonson for a kill and a 14-12 BPHS lead. Albany Academy forced one last tie at 14-14 after a kill by Maddie Hart (4 kills), but the Lady Patriots were persistent, and when Sheffer set up Marshall for a kill and a 16-14 lead, the Lady Patriots never trailed for the rest of the match. Sheffer’s performance was important with senior Gabby Smith at times defending and setting the first pass, Sheffer made her assists count especially in game two.

“People were stepping in and making that second pass,” Coach Calvello said. “I thought Carly Sheffer did a good job of getting that second pass to the other girls.”

Broadalbin-Perth sprinted out to a 9-0 lead in the third game behind the serving of Smith with the Lady Patriots teamwork having a devastating effect. Albany Academy forced a side out, but a kill by Simonson put the ball in her own hands at the service line where the senior delivered 11 straight points getting blocks and kills by Ryder and an impressive one handed dig by Fariello to preserve the rally on the way to a 21-1 lead. Simonson led BPHS with 21 service points including four aces. Smith was next with 13 points and two aces.

“The third game Gabby went a on run with her serve and then Zoe with her serve,” Calvello said. “You have to do everything well in those situations.”

Carli Voellm, who led Albany Academy with six service points stopped the rally and put the score at 21-4, but the game and the match were not in doubt, and when Sheffer put an end to the rally with her last kill, Olivia Casey stepped to the service line to end the drama.

“That’s been her role,” Coach Calvello said of Casey, who scored points from her serve in every game including the last three of the match. “I look for her to be consistent. When she’s on she has served well. Tonight she was on.”

Casey finished the match with five points. Every BPHS player that stepped to the service line scored. Marshall, who had the final kill of the match, and Ryder each had three service points, and eighth grader Madison Fariello, who led the team with 13 digs, had seven points. Smith led BPHS with 19 assists and had eight digs. Sheffer contributed with four assists. Simonson finished with eight kills.

This years’ Broadalbin-Perth varsity volleyball team includes; Zoe Simonson, Megan Ryder, Gabby Smith, Carly Sheffer, and Jordan Marshall, all members of the 2014 team that were NYSPHSAA Class C state runners up. They are joined by first year varsity members Cassy Bown, Olivia Casey, Madison Fariello, and Michaela Egan. Junior varsity call ups are Tesa Brody, Kayla Weaver, Danielle Winney, and Elianna Fraser.

Top seeded Broadalbin- Perth advances to take on the winner of the Loudonville Christian School- Tamarac match in the Class C semi-finals on Tuesday at Hudson Falls High School. A victory on Tuesday will put them back in the Section 2 Class C title match at Saratoga Springs High School on Friday, November 6th at 7pm.

“It’s a good start,” Calvello said. “Survive and advance.”

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.