Trying for their first three match win streak since joining the Foothills Council in 2014, the Amsterdam girls varsity volleyball team faced about as much adversity as any team could Friday night at Gloversville High School. Despite the loss of two starting players during the match and a horrible second game, they nearly pulled off a win. As a valiant last kill attempt that would have tied the fifth game at 24-24 caught the top of the net and fell to the floor, Gloversville finally prevailed over the Lady Rams 22-25, 25-9, 12-25, 25-21, 25-23, but the effort was more than enough reward.
“Every kid on that court gave me what I asked for,” Amsterdam coach Chris Sherlock said. “They were competitive. This match easily could have gone either way. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Leading two games to one, Amsterdam looked to build momentum after a 25-12 game three win. AHS senior Morgan Durinick gave the Lady Rams an early 2-0 lead with a pair of aces, but Katie Oathout responded from her serve to knot the score at 2-2, only the second tie since the opening game. Kateland Cooks hammered two of her team high seven kills to put AHS back on top 4-2, the second kill through the block attempt of a pair of Gloeversville defenders. A block by Giuliana Pritchard and a pair of kills by Maria Lomanto pushed the lead to 7-3, but unlike the previous three games the momentum shifted back and forth. Game four featured six ties and three lead changes.
After a tip over the net for a kill by Lomanto that kept Amsterdam in font 9-6, Gloversville got the serve back and Libby Ashe dropped the ball into the AHS front court and tied things up 9-9. AHS scored a point off Pritchard’s serve to go ahead 11-9, but Gloversville responded behind Bri Port and inched ahead 12-11. AHS got the lead back with Durinick recording two of her match high 22 points from serve, the second one an ace down the right line and a 14-12 lead. Amsterdam stayed ahead with Ashlin Glionna’s serve and a kill by Alexandria Iglesias, but Port served up four points for Gloversville and an 18-16 Lady Huskies lead. A kill by Lomanto, and a point from Cinderea Chrzanowski evened things up one more time, but Gloversville finally managed to hold its momentum behind the serving of Ashe and Macey Salvione to score a 25-21 game four win and force a fifth and deciding game. Undaunted, the Lady Rams prepared to take the court, but learned they would be without a key part of their defense. Libero Cinderea Chrzanowski remained on the bench, and would later leave the gym, and Glionna put on a libero’s jersey to take her place.
“I lose my libero, who in my opinion is one of the best in the league, early in the match, and Ashlin (Glionna) steps in and she had never done that before,” coach Sherlock said. “Alyssa (Kuchis) is out hurt and they still managed to dig in.”
Kuchis was hurt late in game two when she collided with the bleachers attempting a dig. The junior outside hitter would return at a crucial time in game five as Amsterdam tried to overcome a four point Gloversville lead. A kill by GHS’ Jasmine Gonzales put the Lady Huskies up 16-12, but a service error gave AHS a much needed side out. Kuchis stepped in to serve and dropped in a pair of aces just over the net and into the GHS front court getting the Lady Rams within a point at 16-15. They were the only two service points for Kuchis for the match and AHS tried to make it stand up eventually knotting the score, and then taking a 19-17 lead with Durinick serving. Port got the lead back for GHS at 20-19, but a kill by Lomanto made it 20-20 and another kill through a block by Cooks on Krystal Dicaprio’s serve gave AHS its last lead at 21-20. Salvione’s serve and a kill by Aspen Darling pushed Glovesville ahead 24-21 before Amsterdam’s last chance that was fueled by a kill by Lomanto ended with a hit in the net.
Amsterdam (2-3 Foothills Council, 2-4 overall), had a chance to take the match in three games were it not for a poor showing in game two. Gloversville got eight points from serve by Port and five from Oathout to record a lopsided 25-9 win. The only game where the Lady Rams were unable to get any consistency.
“Game two was not good,” coach Sherlock said. “If we had won that we could have been out of here in three.”
Amsterdam had all the momentum in games one and tree trailing only once in their two victories. AHS built a 7-2 lead early in game one behind the serving of Durinick and Glionna, who finished with 14 service points for the match. Strong net play and the incredible quick reflexes of Durinick, Pritchard, Lomanto, Dicaprio, and Cooks combined with the defense from Chrzanowski, who finished with 13 digs kept Amsterdam in front throughout the opening set. Kills by Pritchard and Kuchis put AHS up 23-18 and eventually led to the win. Amsterdam had things their way in game three with Durinick and Glionna serving and Cooks and Lomanto hitting as the Lady Rams built a comfortable 12-1 lead. The Lady Rams got points from the stripe from five players and consistent net play with blocks by Cooks and Pritchard to coast to the 25-12 win in game three.
Lomanto and Pritchard each had six kills for the Lady Rams, Iglesias and Kuchis each had three. Durinick finished with eight aces and a season high 32 assists.
Abbey Johnson led Glovesville with eight kills. Port, Ashe, and Gonzales each had four kills. Salvione finished with seven points off serve, Port led the Lady Huskies with 19 service points, Oathout had 13, and Darling nine for Gloversville (2-3, 3-3).
The effort from the Lady Rams was an improvement from a pair of season opening losses to Johnstown and Glens Falls where the team struggled with consistency in the serving and passing games. Tuesday night, eight different AHS players recorded at least one point from serve, and six AHS players recorded at least one kill.
“We’re good, I’m saying it right now, we’re good,” coach Sherlock said. “This team, they’ve started to believe in themselves.”
Amsterdam will try to start another win streak at home on Monday when they face the Mayfield Lady Panthers. The varsity match is scheduled to begin at 6pm.