Burnt Hills sweeps Gloversville in Class A semifinals
BALLSTON SPA — The Gloversville Huskies’ trip to the Final Four of the Section II Class A volleyball tournament did not have the result they were hoping for.
Facing top-seeded Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake the upset-minded Huskies could not get on track as the perennial powerhouse Spartans cruised into their 23rd straight title match with a 3-0 victory over Gloversville on game scores of 25-7, 25-19 and 25-8 in Class A semifinal action Tuesday at Ballston Spa High School.
“As much as I tell them it’s never about who you play but how you play, we also knew because it was Burnt Hills, we had to play our best volleyball,” Gloversville coach Duane Hicks said. “The only chance we had was to play our best volleyball and we did not play our best volleyball. They know that. I know they are disappointed in losing but I also know they are more disappointed in the fact that they helped them more than Burnt Hills needed our help.”
Burnt Hills will go for its 18th-straight Class A championship against Queensbury at 7 p.m. Saturday at Saratoga Springs High School.
Queensbury advanced with a 3-0 victory over South Glens Falls on scores of 26-24, 25-19 and 25-23. South High defeated the Spartans twice during Foothills Council play this season.
Burnt Hills gained control of the opening game of Tuesday’s match early with Hannah Shell string together a service run to stake the Spartans to a 7-2 lead.
Gloversville could not put together a run as Burnt Hills earned quick side-outs en route to locking up the 25-7 first-game victory.
The Huskies showed some of the ability that got them to the semifinals in the second game as Aireana Muhlberger and Macey Salvione served Gloversville out to a 3-1 advantage.
Burnt Hills rallied back to take the lead 6-4 on a service run from Kiera Hartpence and kills from Callie Chevalier.
Gloversville battled back to tie the game at 8, before Shell again gave the Spartans some breathing room with another service run to help Burnt Hills pull away for a 25-19 victory.
The Spartans closed out the match in dominating fashion as Claire Isaksen opened the third game with an extended service run to put Gloversville in a 10-0 hole before Salvione earned the side-out with a smash off a blocking attempt that fell for the point.
Again, Burnt Hills earned quick side-outs to lock up their 23rd-straight championship match berth.
Bohlke led Burnt Hills with nine kills and five blocks, while Shell had eight kills, and Isaksen collected 23 assists.
Salvione paced Gloversville with five kills and nine digs, while Madelyn Avery had four kills and nine digs and Muhlberger added nine assists.
“We have only one senior on this team and we talked about that,” Coach Hicks said. “This should be the team we could possibly see next year in the semis or finals next year depending on our seed. We also know they only have four seniors so they also will have a lot of players coming back. We will need to be better.”
Gloversville’s lone senior on the squad, Alyssa Martel, finished Tuesday’s match with two kills and five digs.
“She came here as a sophomore and was primarily a defensive player for us,” Hicks said about Martel. “I just changed the lineup to a quicker lineup, and she went to the front row and in the first tournament she had a block, three assists, six kills and 11 digs. She ate it up and made me think why I didn’t change that lineup a month ago. She has helped us a lot the last two years and played a great libero but played an even better front row. She will be a big loss for us.”
Coach Hicks said he was proud of what his team accomplished this fall.
“It was a really good season,” he said. “We have not had a lot of really good seasons in the 45 year history of Gloversville volleyball. We got 13 wins for only the second time. They know they had a good season and wouldn’t be as disappointed if they had played well and got beat by a really good team.”