The Broadalbin-Perth varsity volleyball team opened its 2017 season with a 25- 18, 25-13, 25-17 victory over Foothills Council rival Gloversville on Wednesday evening at Broadalbin-Perth High School. Four players recorded at least five kills as the Lady Patriots quest for a third sectional title in four years began.
While the team came away with the victory, Broadalbin-Perth coach Mike Calvello made it clear that he expected more.
“I don’t know what it was, maybe first game jitters,” Calvello said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board tomorrow. We have some things to work on.”
The Lady Patriots relied on a passing game that has been a consistent strength for the program and helped guide them to two New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Section 2 Class C final four appearances in the last three years. Neither team had a run of more than five points from their serve, and both appeared to be just getting into the swing of things as some kill attempts went wide of the mark. But, in the end the Lady Patriots ability to move the ball around and get many people involved in the scoring, created the win.
“I thought Kayla (Weaver) and Lily (Mitchell) did a good job moving the ball around,” added Coach Calvello.
Trailing 10-9 in the first game, BPHS senior Adrienne Morreale delivered a kill to tie things up and put the ball in the hands of sophomore Madison Fariello whose “floater” serve kept Gloversville on their heels. Fariello’s consistency helped senior captain Weaver set up a pair of kills to junior Cassy Bown and fellow senior captain Olivia Casey stretching the BPHS lead to 13-10. Mitchell assisted on kills by Bown, Eliana Frasier, and Tesa Brody to boost the lead to 17-12 and later 18-14, but Gloversville stayed close behind the serve of Cierra McAdams and the hitting of Macey Salvione. Fariello, who was the Lady Patriots setter last season, then helped BPHS take control at the net assisting on a pair of impressive kills into the center of the Gloversvile defense by Frasier inching BPHS closer to the win in game one at 23-16. The Lady Huskies kept fighting with a kill by Salvione to stop the rally, and an ace by Maddy Avery to draw closer, but BPHS got the ball back and ended the first game on Frasier’s serve.
It was not the most efficient game, but it was well rounded as Bown, Casey, and Frasier all had three kills benefiting from the sets created by Weaver, Mitchell, and Fariello.
“This year we’ve been building on our passing,” said Fariello, who led the team with a game high 15 digs. “Hitting the target and that sets it up for kills. We’ve worked hard on that.”
The hits kept coming in game two. Leading 4-3, Bown went to the servers line and unleashed a pair of aces during a four point burst that helped the Lady Patriots to an 8-3 advantage. Mitchell set up a powerful kill down the line by Casey that Gloversville couldn’t get a hand on for a point, and later set up Fariello for another hit during a three point run off Casey’s serve for a 12- 4 mark. Gloversvile responded with its longest run of four points started by a kill by Abbey Johnson, and included three points of fMcAdams serve with a pair of kills by Jasmine Gonzalez cutting the lead to 12-8.
“Gloversville is a much improved team,” Coach Calvello said. “There are no easy matches in the Foothills Council. There never is.”
In game two, the Lady Patriots setters outworked Gloversville with accurate passing especially from Weaver, Mitchell, and Fariello that led to kills by Bown, Frasier, Casey, and Brody. Keeping Gloversille close was the hitting of Salvione, who at five feet tall, played more like she was a foot taller. Salvione’s second kill of the game cut the BPHS lead to 16-11, but Mitchell and Casey teamed up again, and the seniors’ hammer shot down the line stopped the Lady Huskies momentum. Casey delivered another kill in similar fashion during Mitchell’s serve boosting the lead to 19-11. Fariello assisted on that hit and on another by Brody. Mitchell aided a kill by Bown and quickly BPHS closed in on a win. Another kill by Brody and three straight points off the serve of Bown finished off game two.
A strong start in game three benefited Broadalbin-Perth. Bown’s kill off Salvione’s serve broke a 3-3 tie and the junior center hitter stepped to the line and served up a game best string of five points including a pair of aces. A kill by Johnson ended the run, but Brody recorded a kill for BPHS making it 10-5 in the Lady Patriots favor. BPHS needed every point as McAdams serve helped Gloversville get closer at 10-9 aided by kills from Gonzalez. Frasier stopped the Lady Huskies momentum with a left handed shot into the back court keeping BPHS in front. Moments later during Weaver’s serve, Sydney Rogers, Frasier and Weaver showed their quick reflexes denying Gloversville a kill while staying out of the net to keep the game in Broadalbin- Perth’s favor earning a point
at 12-9. After a pair of miss hits Frasier took the serve and posted a pair of points nudging BPHS in front 15-10. Gonzalez kept Gloversville close, but Rogers stepped in for two points from her serve including a resounding kill by Bown that put BPHS ahead by six 18-12. Bown was next to serve and answered a Gloversville challenge with three points getting BPHS closer. A kill by Lucy McCredie gave the Lady Huskies one last chance, but Fariello ended the drama with an ace, untouched to the middle of the Gloversville defense.
“I was happy with the result,” Coach Calvello said. “But, we didn’t serve receive well, and we had a lot of hitting errors. We’re not finishing. I don’t know what it was.”
Bown finished with a game high 17 service points for BPHS including four aces. Lily Mitchell complimented Bown’s total with nine points from serve, and seven assists. Frasier was next with five points followed by Casey and Brody with four points each, Fariello had three points, Rogers had two, and Weaver with one. Bown also led with nine kills. Frasier recorded seven kills. Casey had six kills in two games, and Brody finished with five kills including two in the closing moments of game three. Morreale and Fariello each had one kill. Broadalbin- Perth out hit Gloverville 29-14.
McAdams led Gloversville with nine service points. Salvione finished with four service points and four kills. Gonzalez also had four kills. Abbey Johnson recorded three points from her serve. Maddy Avery and Lucy McCredie each had two points and two kills.
Broadalbin-Perth has a short time to prepare for their next opponent. Scotia- Glenville visits the BPHS gym on Friday night for a Foothills Council match. The Lady Patriots know they need to get off to a better start than they did against Gloversville where the Lady Patriots trailed early in two of the three games.
“We need to focus on the first point,” said Madison Fariello, a third year starter who has been a libero and setter for the Lady Patriots. “We need to work on getting there.”
Fariello, Casey, and Bown are the last remaining members of the BPHS 2015 state final four team, and will be counted on for their leadership in the Lady Patriots quest for another title try.