SARATOGA SPRINGS: The Mayfield Panthers got off to a great start by defeating top seed Fonda-Fultonville in the first match of the second class of the Class C Volleyball Championship on Saturday.
The defeat served as a wake-up call for the Lady Braves, as they defeated Mayfield 19-25, 25-11, 25-12, 25-16 at Saratoga Springs High School to win the next three sets. Claimed and claimed the first Section II Girls Volleyball Championship of the program.
“In my freshman year we lost to Voorheesville in the final and in my second year we lost to Lake George,” said Fonda-Fultonville senior and five-year varsity player Marilyn Whitkevich. “Last year we didn’t get a chance to play due to COVID. Now we are back and finally we won.”
Mayfield’s scrambling defense kept up a solid kill attempt by Fonda-Fultonville from the floor in the opening game. Despite the score being tied four times, Mayfield overtook a late serve from Brooke Long and hit hits from Morgan Ashline and Madison King to help seal a 25–19 opening set victory.
Mayfield coach Brian Halozanski said, “Our goal was to get our hands on Marilyn’s hits and they did.” “Maybe we’re a little too comfortable and against a team like Fonda, you can’t be comfortable.”
Fonda-Fultonville ramped up her intensity in the second set, breaking a 20-6 advantage behind stellar net play from Whitakevich and Keonna Christmas.
Mayfield fashioned a late rally to narrow the gap slightly as the Lady Braves tied the match with a 25–11 win.
Neither team was able to break through in the third set as Lady Braves’ Maddie Mott swapped a 10–10 tie before an eight-point service run to help Fonda-Fultonville take a 2–1 advantage. Changed it. Matches with a score of 25-12.
Whitakevich and Christmas were offensive and defensive forces at the net in the final set, combining six blocks and five kills for a score of 25–16 to secure the school’s first Division II volleyball title.
“I’m very proud of him,” said Fonda-Fultonville first-year coach Miranda Nethaway. “All week I told them that they are capable of winning it. We played Mayfield during the season and played five games with him, so we knew it was going to be a fight. “
Whitakevich finished with 10 kills and six blocks, while Christmas had four kills and six blocks.
“This is Keona’s first year playing volleyball. She has been amazing and has made an appearance,” said Nethwaye.
Mayfield got strong games from King, Ashline, Julia Fitzgerald, Alicia Weichel and Long.
“I couldn’t have asked more of these girls. He worked hard and didn’t give up,” Hlozanski said. “None of this team is here and we made some mistakes. We eliminate them; It would have been a different game. Fonda came ready to play. We will learn from this for next year. We have a large group returning, but we will miss four of our seniors – Alyssa Wilbur, Camie Hart, Fitzgerald and Wechel – but we have a good core of eight girls coming back with sectional experience. “
Galway wins Class D title
In the battle for an unbeaten Section II powerhouse, the Galway Golden Eagles backed their 2019 Championship with a 14-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-19 victory over Lake George.
After losing the first set, Galway made the right adjustments to make a comeback and registered three straight wins to clinch the title.
“We have so many seniors in this team, we didn’t want this to be our last game,” said Julia Ready, a Galway senior and five-year-old varsity player. “Lake George are a very good team and we knew they were going to give it their all.
“We have four players back” [from the 2019 state final four team] And we know what it’s like to get there and we want to go back there and all the little girls want it for our seniors too,” Ready said.
Galway successfully switched their game from hard-hitting strikes to short soft hits to keep the Lake George defense balance.
The Warriors were able to mount strong bounces of their own before Galway was able to lock victory on the Sadie Underwood block, particularly in the third set, as they battled to tie the score at 23.
Galway coach Mike Glenn said: ‘We knew going into it would be a heavyweight match. “We met earlier this year in tournament pool play and they won the first 25-17 and we won the second 25-17, so we knew we were evenly matched.”
Glenn credits Amber Kolpaks for stepping up his game and making big hits in the win.
“Amber really stepped up and I think we scored seven or eight goals in one set,” Glenn said. “Katie Underwood also really stepped up. We flopped at one point and put Sadie on Fox [Ella Fox] The girl and she only got four or five touches and our moderate, Jayden DeVellis, was digging all over the court and we were grateful for that. “
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