Fariello’s knuckle serve helps Lady Patriots volleyball prevail over AHS

During a baseball game when a pitch that has little or no movement on it as it heads for the plate is called a knuckleball. In hockey, a shot that performs in the same manner is called a knuckle puck. But in volleyball, a serve that features the ball with little or no rotation as it suddenly dips toward the floor eluding the opposing team’s defense is referred to as a knuckle serve. Broadalbin-Perth freshman Madison Fariello used that serve and found a weakness in the Amsterdam Lady Rams defense, scoring 20 points to lead the Lady Patriots past their Foothills Council division rival Tuesday night at Amsterdam High School 25-19, 25-14, and 25-12.

Fariello scored at least six points in each of the three games, and each time helped BPHS pull away from a determined Amsterdam team hoping to upset the defending Section 2 Class C champions, who were without the services of senior hitter Jordan Marshall who was out due to illness. Fariello totaled four aces and 21 assists along with her team high twenty points, and the second year varsity players’ efforts helped rally and organize a Lady Patriots team that got off to a slow start on Tuesday.

“Maddie (Fariello) did a great job serving tonight,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Mike Calvello said. “We were a little tentative at first, but once we settled in, the girls did a good job. Everyone stepped up tonight and that’s what we needed to do.”

Amsterdam built a 6-0 lead early in the opening game behind the serve of senior Morgan Durinick, who led the Lady Rams with 10 service points, and senior Kateland Cooks with a team high of five kills. Fariello and Cassy Bown helped BPHS cut the lead to 7-5, but Amsterdam continued to fight to stay in front and behind the serve of Alexandria Iglesias and blocks by Giuliana Pritchard, and Cooks, stayed on top 11-7. AHS senior Maria Lomanto helped extend that lead to 14-7 on a kill to force a side out and a pair of points off her serve including an ace. However, the Lady Patriots began to chip away at that lead boosted by the serve of Eliana Frasier, and the hitting of Bown and Olivia Casey. AHS clung to a 17-14 lead when the BPHS serve once again rotated to Fariello, who wasted no time in finding a weakness along the line and into the Lady Rams back court. Five consecutive points later, and the Lady Patriots had their first lead of the match and were in front to stay. Fariello got plenty of help from Bown (6 kills, 5 blocks), and Casey who recorded the first of her team high 10 kills during the rally. The duo proved to be a force at the net and helped BPHS compensate for the absence of Marshall.

“We had to make an adjustment because Jordan was out,” Coach Calvello said. “We went with a new lineup and not much time to practice with it. Olivia (Casey) had ten kills tonight, so she did pretty well hitting from the outside, and Cassy did a great job serving and hitting. Give the girls credit, it was pretty evenly distributed.”

A kill by Lomanto stopped the BPHS rally at 19-18, but the Lady Patriots quickly got the serve back and Bown (12 service points) pushed the lead to 23-18. Cooks stopped that rally with a hit from the center of the net, but kills by Frasier and Tesa Brody ended game one. Broadalbin-Perth was in another tight struggle for the lead with the Lady Rams in game two, but Fariello helped them take command with her serve once again.

The Lady Rams had pulled to within a point of BPHS at 9-8 thanks to the serve of Durinick and the hitting of Pritchard (4 kills) but the ball was in Fariello’s hands once again, and the freshman wasted no time finding a hole in the AHS defense and exploiting it. Seven points and two aces later, the Lady Patriots were once again in front to stay at 17-8. Amsterdam continued to fight and found some momentum off the serve of Ashlin Glionna and kills by Lomanto and Cooks to cut the lead to 17-12, but Bown stretched the BPHS lead back to double digits at 22-12 with some accurate serving of her own. A pair of kills by Eliana Frasier (9 points, 4 kills) put BPHS a point away from a game two win, and a hit out of bounds sealed it as another chance for the Lady Rams slipped away.

“It was a missed opportunity,” Amsterdam coach Christine Sherlock said. “We are a good team, but we just [couldn’t] put it altogether.”

Fariello’s serve put BPHS up 7-3 early in game three. The Lady Rams continued to battle behind kills and blocks by Cooks and Pritchard to close that game at 12-9 midway through, but a string of points from Frasier’s serve accented by kills by Casey, Brody, and Bown but BPHS up 18-9. Fariello inched them closer with her serve to 23-11, and a kill by Casey during Bown’s serve ended the match and boosted Broadalbin- Perth’s record to 11-2 overall.

“Under the circumstances I thought they played well,” Coach Calvello said of his team. “A good way to end the season. Now we have to prepare to play South Glens Falls in the championship.”

Frasier added nine points from her serve to go along with her four kills for BPHS. Tesa Brody scored one service point, one block, and four kills, and Kara Terwilliger added three service points for the Lady Patriots.

Maria Lomanto had four service points including one ace to go with her four kills for the Lady Rams. Ashlin Glionna had three service points, Alexandria Iglesias had two, Krystal Dicaprio had one block, and Cinderea Chrzanowski had seven digs for the Lady Rams.

“If you compare the game we played at Broadalbin-Perth and tonight’s game, I feel that tonight we gave them better competition,” Coach Sherlock said. “Why not win I said to them. I think they believed it and played well at the beginning, but it was just another missed opportunity. If they could just fight like they did against Gloversville, then we would have more wins.”

Amsterdam will be back in action tonight when they host Berne-Knox- Westerlo for Senior Night at AHS. It will likely be the last home match for seniors Maria Lomanto, Cinderea Chrzanowski, Kateland Cooks, Morgan Durinick, Ashlin Glionna, and Gianna Petrone. Amsterdam will play its Foothills Council crossover game on Thursday at Glens Falls or Schuylerville.

Broadalbin- Perth won the Foothills Council south division and travels to South Glens Falls on Friday afternoon for the Foothills Council championship. The Lady Bulldogs handed the Lady Patriots one of their only two losses this season.

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.