Galway claims Class D championship

The Galway girls volleyball team poses with the Section II Class D championship plaque after defeating Argyle 3-1 in the championship match Friday at Saratoga Springs High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

SARATOGA SPRINGS — After dropping a 3-1 decision to Mayfield in the 2018 Class D championship match, the Galway Eagles have been focused on not only getting back to the championship match, but bring home the championship.

Mission accomplished.

The top-seeded Golden Eagles defeated Argyle 3-1 on game scores of 25-20, 25-18, 18-25 and 25-13 to claim the Section II Class D championship Friday night at Saratoga Springs High School.

“The kids worked so hard during the off season,” Galway coach Mike Glenn said. “We started the year without a gym so we were all over the place and they just kept fighting through it. We are a young group and anytime we had to make an adjustment they did it.”

Galway advances to regional play and will face Section X champion Chateaugay at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School.

Galway's Amber Kolpakas (14) drives the ball against the block attempt by Argyle's Denasia Pompey (9) and Jessie Wilson (5) during the Section II Class D championship match Friday at Saratoga Springs High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Chateaugay advanced with a 3-0 victory over Tupper Lake.

“We have played them twice,” Glenn said. “They are there every year so they must be doing something right. They play a little bit different style ball up there so we have to get ready for that but I think we will be ready.”

Second-seeded Argyle got off to a fast start with Alivia Gaulin serving the Scots out to a 5-2 lead.

The Golden Eagles chipped away at the score and with an ace from Kylee Decker pulled even at 10 apiece. The teams played even to 19-19 before Galway pulled away behind a service run from Amber Kolpakas and strong net play from Julia Reedy and Diana Colangelo to lock up the 25-20 win.

Galway gained control of the second game early behind a service run from Anna Gardner. The Scots made a late-game run and closed 23-18 before Kolpakas nailed back-to-back kills to close out the 25-18 victory.

Argyle was not ready to hand the match over to the Eagles and dug out of an early 5-1 hole to tie the game at seven and kept momentum on its side to win game three 25-18 and put the match at 2-1 in favor of Galway.

The Scots carried the momentum over to the start of the fourth set with Jessie Wilson hitting a pair of aces in a game-opening 3-0 run.

The Golden Eagles adjusted with a mix of hard swings and soft touches into holes in the Scots defense to pull away for a 25-13 victory and lock up their sectional championship since 2016.

“We are in great shape and we try to wear teams down,” Coach Glenn said. “We knew it was going to be a battle today. We played them tough in the first two games and wore them down. Then we got a little crazy on the court because we are so young but we were able to regain our composure in the fourth set and bring it back together.”

Shelby Caprood led Argyle with 15 kills, six digs and four blocks, while Kiana Squires had three kills, four blocks and four digs to go with 24 assists, five aces, eight points and 18 digs from Jessie Wilson.

Reedy, who received the WAC MVP plaque after the match, said, “I think our whole team wanted to win so bad because we lost last year. Everyone wanted to get back here and we wanted to win their for our seniors.”

Reedy finished with 26 kills for Galway, while Kolpakas posted 16 service points and 15 kills.

Katy Kurtzner finished with 32 digs and three kills for the Golden Eagles, and Hannah Hoffmann added 28 assists and three kills.