Galway punches its ticket to Class D title match

Galway’s Anna Gardner (20) and Julia Reedy (21) look for the block against Hartford’s Karlee Nims (14) during Tuesday’s Section II Class D semifinal match at Ballston Spa High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

BALLSTON SPA — Coming into the season, the Galway volleyball team had just three returning players from last year’s squad.

Despite having several new faces, the Golden Eagles punched their ticket to the Section II Class D championship match Tuesday at Ballston Spa.

Galway, the No. 1 seed, posted a 3-0 victory over fourth-seeded Hartford, winning by scores of 25-21, 25-14 and 25-23.

“With only three returnees, we didn’t know what we had going into the season,” Galway coach Michael Glenn said. “We’ve got a young group, but they’ve really stepped up this year.”

Lindsay Zawisa finished with 16 digs and 13 kills for the Golden Eagles, while Julia Reedy had 13 points and eight kills. Emma Smith posted 10 assists, nine points and five kills for Galway.

“We knew they were a good team. They had some strong hitters,” Hartford coach Wendy Harrington said. “Sometimes the other team is just better and you have to shake their hands and say good job.”

Karlee Nims recorded nine kills, three digs and two blocks for Hartford, Kayleigh Wade had 15 digs and four points, and Camille

Rogers finished with 13 digs, nine points, four aces and three assists. Gabbie McFarren posted eight digs and three points for the Tanagers, Rylie Liebig had 12 assists, Abby Monroe posted four kills and Izzy French added three kills.

The first game was back-and-forth battle that saw the Golden Eagles finally seize control on a service run by Katy Kurtzner that saw Galway surge to a 23-17 lead.

“I think both teams had some jitters in the first game,” Glenn said. “We were very fortunate to pull it out.”

The Golden Eagles closed out the first game with a 25-21 victory.

“If we could have put together a run or two in Game 1, and maybe start it better, then it’s a different mode for us,” Harrington said.

The second game started with the teams exchanging the lead until Galway rode and eight-point run by Reedy to a 13-4 advantage. Anna Gardner and Zawisa each had two kills during the run for the Golden Eagles.

Hartford got no closer than nine points the rest of the game as Galway took a 2-0 lead with a 25-14 second-game win.

“In the second game, we played our game,” Glenn said.

The Tanagers scored the first four points of the third game, all on serves by Kayleigh Wade.

Hartford extended its lead to 14-6 before Galway mounted a comeback.

The Golden Eagles got a kill from Reedy to start the run and five straight service points from Smith to pull within 14-12.

The game remained close the rest of the way until the Golden Eagles scored six of the final eight points to rally for a 21-19 deficit to close out the match with a 25-23 third-game win.

“At the end of the day, we lost to a good team,” Harrington said. “They made some good plays and played well.”

Galway (13-0 overall), which won the Class C title in 2016, will face second-seeded Mayfield in the Class D title match Saturday at Saratoga Springs High School at 3 p.m. The Panthers swept third-seeded Argyle, 3-0, in their semifinal match Tuesday.

Galway won the regular-season meeting between the Western Athletic Conference rivals, 3-2, on Sept. 20.

“It’s nice to get back to the championship match,” Glenn said. “We’ve been working hard and we’ll continue to keep working to get ready for Saturday.”

Hartford finished its season with a 12-7 overall record.

“Hartford is a good team,” Glenn said. “They don’t ever quit.”

Section II Class B Semifinals

Broadalbin-Perth 3, Ravena 0

STILLWATER — Eliana Fraser posted 21 digs, five kills, one ace and one block as top-seeded Broadalbin-Perth swept fourth-seeded Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk in the Section II Class B semifinals at Stillwater High School.

The Lady Patriots won by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-11.

Cassy Bown finished with 10 kills, eight digs and five block for B-P (15-1 overall), while Lily Mitchell had 22 assists, six digs and two aces.

The Lady Patriots will face sixth-seeded Hudson Falls in Saturday’s Class B championship match at Saratoga Springs High School at 7 p.m. The Tigers posted a 3-1 victory over seventh-seeded Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons in their semifinal match Tuesday, winning by scores of 25-23, 25-16, 11-25 and 25-15

B-P won the regular-season meeting between the Foothills Council rivals, 3-0, on Oct. 10.

It will be the third straight meeting between Hudson Falls and Broadalbin-Perth in the Class B title match. The Tigers have won the last four Class B titles.

Section II Class C Semifinals

Fonda-Fultonville 3, Stillwater 1

AVERILL PARK — Marilyn Whitcavitch finished with 13 kills, four aces and four digs to lift second-seeded Fonda-Fultonville to a victory over third-seeded Stillwater in the Section II Class C semifinals at Averill Park High School.

The Lady Braves won by scores of 25-10, 23-25, 25-21 and 25-19.

Krystal McSpirit posted eight kills for FFCS (9-4 overall), while Julia Bagnardi had 30 assists and eight digs.

Casey Knowlton recorded six kills and three blocks for the Lady Braves and Emilia Vardai-Davidson added seven digs.

Fonda-Fultonville will face top-seeded Voorheesville in the Class C championship match Saturday at Saratoga Springs High School at 5 p.m.

The Blackbirds posted a 3-1 victory over fourth-seeded Catskill in their semifinal match, winning by scores of 25-12, 19-25, 25-14 and 25-15.

By Paul Wager

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