Broadalbin-Perth tops Mayfield for Sacandaga Summer Volleyball League title

Any volleyball coach knows that having a team that’s good at all the fundamental aspects of the game: serving, hitting, setting, passing, and defense, is a good thing to have. Wednesday night at Fulton-Montgomery Community College (FMCC), the Broadalbin-Perth girls volleyball team put that versatility on display with every player that set foot on the gymnasium floor. In two matches, Broadalbin-Perth took the 2017 Sacandaga Summer Volleyball League title with a win over Mayfield 25-14, and 25-17.

“The people we have are able to step into different roles,” Broadalbin Perth coach Mike Calvello said. “It’s a good thing to have.”

Broadalbin-Perth had seven players return from the 2016 Sacandaga Summer League championship team including team captains Olivia Casey and Tesa Brody. Also returning was Eliana Frasier, Sara Kline, Kayla Weaver, Cassy Bown, and Madison Fariello. Joining them for the 2017 season were Adrienne Morreale, Sydney Rogers, Alison MacDonald, and Lily Mitchell. All were a contributing factor in the two wins B-P posted on Wednesday, first with a semi final win over Mekeel Christian Academy and in the title contest over Mayfield. It all got started off the serve of Madison Fariello.

Fariello, an incoming sophomore at Broadalbin-Perth High School, got the first point of the final match with an ace and pushed it to 2-0 thanks to a kill by senior Olivia Casey. B-P inched ahead on the serve of Lily Mitchell to go up 4-1 before a side out and a point off the serve of Mayfield’s Katie Lagrange cut it to 4-3. B-P forced a side out and extended the lead to 7-3 from the serve of Eliana Frasier and another kill by Casey. B-P ‘s defense however never let Mayfield gain momentum and quickly forced another side out. A run off Casey’s serve boosted the lead to 11-4 before Mayfield finally strung a couple of points together with Sam Kent at the line cutting the lead back to 12-8, but Sara Kline stepped onto the court to serve and immediately reeled off an ace and then three more points for a 16-9 advantage. B-P was getting things done with its veterans and newcomers.

“It’s a good mix,” Coach Calvello said. “We have kids coming off the bench and contributing. It’s a good start.”

B-P increased it’s lead with Fariello at the service line. Leading 17-9, Fariello got a little help from a kill by Brody and then took matters into her own hands with a pair of aces off her serve, one that so many teams in the past have found difficult to return. Fariello though will be in yet another role when the high school volleyball season begins. After joining the BPHS varsity as an eighth grader, Fariello fit right into the role of libero previously held by sister Keyana. As a freshman Fariello was in the BPHS lineup as the teams’ setter. Now, she’s more of an all around player.

“I spoke to Madison (Fariello) before the school season about not being the setter, “Coach Calvello said. “She’s handled it well. Madison is playing in more of an all around role, and is playing very well defensively.”

Fariello was contributing kills in previous weeks’ action for the Summer League including last week’s quarter-final action against Middleburgh. On Wednesday however, B-P was energized by the return of center hitter Cassy Bown, who had been playing volleyball in Florida with some of the best high school volleyball players in the country, so Fariello fit right into the role where she’s at her best, from the servers line where she helped her team to an 18-9 lead. Bown teamed up with Casey and Morreale to set up a wall at the net that Mayfield could not get around. A block and a side out eventually resulted in the game one win.

Game two was a well contested match. Mayfield was boosted by the serve of Taylor Proctor and the hitting of Mikayla Myers and Katie Lagrange. B-P got even at 6-6 behind the serve of Fariello and the hitting of Frasier and Morreale. B-P took the lead for good with Casey dishing out an impressive six straight points off her serve, getting a pair of kills by Bown at the net and one from Morreale pushing the advantage to 13-6. A kill by Proctor ended the rally, but Bown hammered the ball to the floor once again denying Mayfield any momentum, and allowing B-P to build theirs.

Sara Kline stepped in again and recorded a pair of aces inching B-P closer to the title. Fariello served up two more points for 20-11 before a hit by Mikayla Mters found the floor. Mayfield continued to battle cutting the lead to 21-15 on the serve of Kate Harrington. A kill by Proctor narrowed the lead to five at 22-17, but that was as close as Mayfield would get. A kill by Morreale put the serve in the hands of Casey, who put the ball in play and gave Bown a chance for a kill at 24-15, and a chance for Sydney Rogers to end the match with a shot to the center of the Mayfield defense. B-P showed its versatility throughout the match with every player that touched the floor contributing at least one assist.

“We’re not going to rely on one player,” Coach Calvello said. “We’re more like the 2014 BPHS team where opponents couldn’t key on trying to stop one person. Everyone played pretty well tonight. It’s still early.”

B-P reached the final match after a semi-final win over Mekeel Christian Academy (MCA). Broadalbin-Perth trailed 10-5 with MCA getting plenty of energy and leadership from Mackenzie Islip and Sophie Armo, and serving and kills by Sydney Ekstein and Maddie Spawn. MCA was coming off an upset win over fourth seed Galway in the quarter- finals a week ago with the third game going the distance at 25-23.

Broadalbin-Perth called a time out and came back with some energy to match. B-P forced a side out and got back to 10-8 after a pair of fierce kills by Tesa Brody. MCA got a kill by Armo to stop the rally, but Bown responded with a kill of her own to give the ball back to B-P. Bown then stepped to the service line and recorded four straight points aided by kills from Rogers and Brody putting B-P in front 13-11. MCA got the ball back at 13-12, but Olivia Casey put a quick end to an MCA recovery with an incredible hit from the back court that cleared the net and fell in for a kill. Casey’s standout play put the ball in the hands of Fariello at the service line, and once again the sophomore baffled the opposing team with her serve.

Eight points later and kills from Kayla Weaver and Brody, saw B-P burst out to a 22-12 lead. Lily Mitchell put up two points on her next trip to the line, and with a kill by Morreale, B-P took game one 25-13.

Mitchell found herself at the service line once again in game two with B-P trailing 3-2. Mitchell reeled off 11 points from her serve supported by kills from Brody, Casey, and Frasier putting B-P in front to stay at 13-3. MCA rallied to 14-7 behind the serve of Chloe Ekstein, and later 20-13 with Mackenzie Islip at the line, but B-P stayed in control at the net to pull away for a 25-18 win.

Mayfield defeated Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 25-18, 25-16 in the semi-finals to advance to the title match. ND-BG toppled an upset minded Gloversville team in the quarter finals winning in three games with the deciding game at 25-23. Mayfield triumphed over Fonda-Fultonville in the quarter-finals.

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.