JOHNSTOWN - With temperatures reaching 90 degrees outside, the Johnstown Lady Bills scorched the Queensbury Lady Spartans in four games in a Foothills volleyball matchup Wednesday at Johnstown High School.
"I told them that it's just as hot for them, so heat cannot be an issue tonight," said Johnstown head coach Heather McGuire following the win.
Johnstown took the match by scores of 25-18, 21-25, 25-14, and 26-24.
Johnstown’s Annie Stock leaps to hit the ball during Wednesday’s Foothills Council volleyball match against Queensbury at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
The two teams alternated points in the early going of game one until Johnstown began to build a lead with the score tied at nine. Alyssa Nellis served Johnstown to a 15-10 lead with the help of three straight kills by Annie Stock. The back-and-forth continued but Queensbury was unable to close the gap. Hannah Breda and Stock registered back-to-back kills with Johnstown up 23-18 to close out the game.
Queensbury jumped out to an early lead in game two and would keep the lead until a kill by Stock evened the score at 13 apiece. Coming out of a timeout the Lady Bills built a three point cushion, but the Lady Spartans put together a series of blocks to keep them in the game and eventually take the lead. Queensbury dropped the game-winning point just out of the reach of Breda's outstretched arms.
The serving of Kaitlyn Duesler set the tone for Johnstown in game three. The Lady Bills scored seven straight points with Duesler serving. During that time, Stock pounded four kills, two of which were hard off the hands of Queensbury's Kristen O'Connor and Mara Bureau. "M-V-P" chants broke out in the JHS gymnasium as Stock unleashed unreturnable ball after unreturnable ball on the Lady Spartans. One point away from victory, Nellis blocked a ball to give Johnstown their most dominant win of the match.
"We ran a tough offense and an even tougher defense," McGuire said.
The Lady Bills made a statement that got the home crowd going with the fourth game tied at three. Morgan Catania dug a tough ball that Stock chased down and saved from flying out of bounds. The ball popped up to Duesler who got the kill to give Johnstown the 4-3 lead. While Queensbury led for a good portion of the game, it was the Lady Bills who overcame several blocks by Queensbury's Courtney Keys to take a 22-18 lead.
Queensbury kicked it into high gear and mounted a comeback to tie the game at 24, but Johnstown was able to finish off the game and the match.
"We played completely together," said McGuire. "We've been practicing how to run an effective offense even when you're out of sync, and they did exactly that."
Stock registered 22 kills in the match, while Breda and Jerica Holland chipped in four and six, respectively.
Holland added 21 assists, while Catania had 11 of her own along with 10 digs.
The Lady Bills will travel to Glens Falls to take on the Lady Indians on Friday. The game is slated to begin at 6 p.m.