SARATOGA SPRINGS - The confidence the players on the Mayfield volleyball team have in each other paid dividends in Wednesday's Section II Class D semifinal match against Fort Edward.
After winning the first game 25-21, dropping the second game 22-25 and falling nine-points behind in the third, Mayfield coach Eileen Rovito gathered her team together for a pep talk. Instead, they gave her the pep talk.
"We talked about the fact that it is sectionals and that Lake George came back against us in our last match so we needed to watch ourselves," Rovito said. "They looked at me and said, 'coach, we know how to comeback, we've done it before.' So they apparently had to prove that to me. They are such a tight-knit team and play well together. I think that is why they are successful."
Mayfield’s Jordan Marshall (5) pushes the ball over the net during Wednesday’s Section II Class D semifinal match against Fort Edward at Saratoga Springs High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The Lady Panthers rallied back to take game three 28-26 and closed out the match with a 25-19 game four win.
Third-seeded Mayfield advances to the Class D championship match to face top-seeded Waterford at 6 p.m. Friday at Stillwater High School.
Bailey Ward served Mayfield out to a quick 3-0 advantage in the opening game before the Flying Forts rallied back to tie the score.
SECTION II VOLLEYBALL
Class AA Semifinals
Shenendehowa 3, Bethlehem 0
(25-17, 25-14, 25-20)
Saratoga Springs 3, Columbia 1
(25-22, 27-29, 26-24, 25-23)
Class A Semifinals
Burnt Hills 3, Niskayuna 0
(25-11, 25-14, 25-22)
Queensbury 3, Averill Park 0
(25-18, 25-20, 25-19)
Class B Semifinals
Gloversville 3, Hudson Falls 2
(19-25, 25-22,24-26, 25-17, 25-21)
Johnstown 3, Bishop Gibbons 0
(25-19, 25-18, 25-11)
Class C Semifinals
Broadalbin-Perth 3, Greenville 0
(25-14, 25-12, 25-10)
Voorheesville 3, Galway 1
(22-25, 25-19, 25-10, 25-14)
Class D Semifinals
Mayfield 3, Fort Edward 1
(25-21, 22-25, 28-26, 25-19)
Waterford 3, Argyle 1
(25-9, 25-17, 23-25, 25-23)
The Lady Panthers picked up their game at the net both on offense and defense to re-establish control and pull away to a 25-20 win.
Mayfield again opened an early lead in Game 2 before second-seeded Fort Edward combined short service runs with quick side outs to rally back for a 25-22 win and tie the match at one game apiece.
With momentum on their side, the Flying Forts built a 5-1 advantage on Kaicey Sardina's Game 3 opening service run.
Lexi Thomas backed up Sardina's run with a two-ace, five-point run to take the Forts lead out to 15-6.
The Lady Panthers began working their way back into contention. Miranda Eagan, Kaylee Bumpus and Jordan Marshall found holes in the Forts' defense to put kills on the floor. Ward stepped to the service line with the score 24-21 in favor of Fort Edward. Eagan recorded a pair of kills to help Mayfield pull ahead 25-24 before Roberts hit a kill shot to tie the game at 25 apiece.
Fort Edward moved ahead 26-25 before Mayfield got the ball back on a short service and the score tied at 26.
Miranda Eagan put the ball in play and with a tipped ball from Brianna Eagan and a wide return on Miranda Eagan's service, the Lady Panthers completed their comeback with a 28-26 victory.
Mayfield carried the momentum built in the third game over to the start of the fourth to quickly build an early edge.
The Forts fought back, keeping the match close and tying the score four times before going up 9-6.
Mayfield again came back behind service runs from Mackenzie Biggers, Marshall and Ward and strong net play from Miranda Eagan and Bumpus to turn a 13-11 deficit into a 22-19 lead.
The Lady Panthers locked up the match with an ace from Kiera Davis and a kill by Miranda Eagan for the 25-19 win and a berth in the Class D title game.
"I think this was the big game for us," Rovito said. "This was the only team we had not seen yet and we had to come in not knowing what to expect. It was slow moving at the beginning then all of a sudden they turned it on."
Miranda Eagan finished with 13 kills, 12 assists, nine service points and four blocks. Bumpus had 14 kills, four blocks and six digs, while Marshall had 10 kills, six digs and five service points. Ward contributed six kills and 15 service points, while Brianna Eagan had six digs and five kills and Biggers finished with 19 assists and nine points.
Sardina led Fort Edward with 43 assists, 47 digs and 12 service points, while Lexi Thomas had 16 kills, 13 points and three aces and Roberts added 18 kills.
Class D Semifinals
Waterford 3, Argyle 1
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Emily Schumaker posted 15 digs, 10 service points and 10 kills, leading Waterford-Halfmoon to a victory over Argyle in the Class D semifinals at Saratoga Springs High School.
The top-seeded Fordians won by scores of 25-9, 25-17, 23-25 and 25-23.
Michaela Miller had 11 digs, 10 points and 10 kills for Waterford, while Carly Howe contributed 12 points, 10 kills and six aces.
Alyssa Salerno had nine kills for Argyle (13-7 overall), while Kaylee Wilson posted 21 digs and 15 assists.