Broadalbin-Perth tops Johnstown in Class B volleyball quarterfinals

There have been some changes over the past three years for the Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots varsity volleyball with back-to-back state final four appearances and new faces at various positions on the court. The goal however has remained the same. The two time New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Section 2 Class C regional champions began their quest for a Class B title Friday night. The Lady Patriots defeated Foothills Council rival Johnstown 25-7, 25-9, 25-23 at Broadalbin- Perth High School.

“We played very well in the first two games,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Mike Calvello said. “This is the fourth time we’ve played Johnstown this year, so I was a bit nervous. Johnstown played much better in the third game, and we missed too many serves. Give credit to my kids they fought back and never gave up. We did what we needed to do to win.”

The Lady Patriots had little trouble in taking the first two games of the match and were boosted to early leads with an effective serve game. It appeared to be more of the same at the start of game three with Olivia Casey giving BPHS a 3-0 lead with a pair of aces, but the Lady Bills quickly ended the serve attempts of the next three Lady Patriots players getting kills by Jordyn Stoutner and Raina Danylak along with an effective serve by Jordan Rose to take their first lead since early in game one, at 6-5. Another kill by Danylak and two more points from Stoutners’ serve extended the Lady Bills lead to 9-6. The Lady Patriots forced a side out and narrowed the gap with a point off Tesa Brody’s serve, but Danylak boosted it to a five point margin at 13-8 from her serve. A Lady Bills team that had fought back from a two games to none deficit in a match against Amsterdam two weeks ago, and had fought back to defeat Ravena- Coeymans- Selkirk in five games on Tuesday began to play with heart.

“The third game was what we are capable of playing,” Johnstown coach Heather McGuire said. “We weren’t communicating well in the first two games and we made too many service errors. The third game we started playing our game.”

Both teams continued to struggle holding their serve. Hits out of bounds and serves into the net kept either team from gaining momentum. A kill by Cassy Bown got BPHS close at 14-11, but a kill by Janay Douglas later boosted the Lady Bills lead to 17-12. Lady Patriots senior Jordan Marshall took a pair of picture perfect sets by Madison Fariello and put the ball to the floor and quickly end a pair of Johnstown serve attempts. Marshall then took matters into her own hands and served BPHS within a point to 18-17 with a pair of aces and a kill by Eliana Frasier. Douglas ended that rally with hit down the line, and a pair of side outs later Danylak kept JHS in front at 22-18 with a pair of service points. Another kill by Douglas put the Lady Bills two points from victory in game three, but the Lady Patriots weren’t about to let the game or the match get away.

Casey helped establish some stability from the service line once again for Broadalbin-Perth and got some help from her friends. A kill by Marshall cut it to 23-21, a block by Bown and Fariello made it 23-22, a hit out of bounds tied it, and finally an ace by Casey turned the game in favor of the Lady Patriots. Moments later, a kill by Marshall ended the drama and Broadalbin-Perth was on their way to the sectional semi-finals. Marshall, who missed a match against Amsterdam last week due to illness was an important factor in the BPHS win. The last remaining member of the 2014 team that was the first in school history to reach the state finals, led her team once again in kills with ten. Marshall returned to action for BPHS’ Foothills Council crossover game against South Glens Falls, and was true to form against the Lady Bills

“It was good to have Jordan back on the floor,” Coach Calvello said. “She got a lot of good swings on the ball today, and Maddie (Fariello) did a really good job of setting her up. Jordan did a good job serving as well.”

Marshall started both the first and second games of the match giving the Lady Patriots a lead with a kill. BPHS got plenty of consistency from Fariello, who served up five points, and Cassy Bown, who served up seven points to propel BPHS to a 15-3 in game one. Marshall contributed a kill on each of those runs. Three points including an ace by Marshall and kills by Casey and Frasier increased the margin to 19-4. Brody’s jump serve produced four points and with a kill by Casey the lead grew to 24-5. Fariello ended the first game with a kill.

Fariello then gave the Lady Patriots a big lead at 7-0 with her floater serve in game two. Bown grew that lead to 11-3 getting kills by Marshall and Brody along the way. Marshall was assisted by kills from Casey and Frasier as she boosted the lead to 16-4 from her serve. Brody’s serve was effective in pushing it to 20-5, and Casey put the finishing touches on the game two win with three more points from her serve including a pair of aces. Casey did a little bit of everything against Johnstown leading BPHS with 12 service points along with four aces, and contributed four kills, and four digs.

“Olivia got us off to a good start in the third game,” Coach Calvello said. “She did a good job serving tonight.”

On the defensive side for the Lady Patriots, senior Michaela Egan led the team with 11 digs, half of them coming in the third game when BPHS was on the brink of defeat. The Lady Patriots turned four of Egan’s digs into points in game three.

Fariello totaled 11 points from her serve and had 13 assists, Bown was next with ten points from her serve and thee kills, Brody contributed seven points from serve, two kills and two assists, and Frasier had one point and five kills for the Lady Patriots. Kayla Weaver and Kara Terwilliger came of the bench and each contributed to the Broadalbin- Perth passing game during the game three win.

Marshall led by example. The senior served up nine points with four aces, had ten kills and kept a number of rallies going with seven digs for the Lady Patriots. Of anyone on the team, Marshall who has played with some of the best at Brodalbin- Perth, and been to the state championships twice, knows what it will take for the Lady Patriots to get back to the Glens Falls Civic Center.

“It’s different this time,” Marshall said. “We have to fight harder than we ever did before. We have to push through every game to the best of our ability. Everyone has to work together and keep picking each other up, never getting down on ourselves.”

Johnstown (8-7) was led by six service points from Raina Danylak and four kills by Janay Douglas. Jordan Rose, Jordyn Stoutner, and Mackenzie Ward each had three service points. Amber Ward had two service points and junior varsity call up Amber Tesi had one point from serve. Mackenzie Ward also had eight assists from the setter position. Johnstown was playing without starting setter Claire Guzielek, who was injured.

“Claire is a positive presence on the floor,” Coach McGuire said. “We never want to be without her. She has this intoxicating energy that just pulls the team together. Mackenzie Ward stepped up incredibly as setter, and we had a mix of seniors an junior varsity players out there tonight. A young group of kids.”

Broadalbin- Perth (12-3) advances to play Academy of Holy Names on Wednesday, 7pm, at Vorheesville High School.

“I think it will be tougher,” Coach Calvello said of being in Class B. “It’s like going in blind. We don’t know much about…Holy Names, and they don’t know much about us, so we’ll see what happens.”

Should the Lady Patriots advance to the NYSPHSAA Section 2 Class B championship, that match will be played at Saratoga Springs High School on Saturday, November 5, at 7pm. A potential opponent for the Lady Patriots could be defending sectional champion Hudson Falls. The Lady Tigers were one of only two teams to defeat BPHS in Foothills Council play earlier 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.