2019 High School Volleyball Preview: Looking for net success

Mayfield’s Jordan Rivenburg, left, looks to block Broadalbin-Perth’s Olivia Fraser, right, during a non-league volleyball match at Broadalbin-Perth High School on Sept. 16. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

In the early stages of the new season, the area’s high school volleyball teams are off to a solid start.

All nine local teams have at least one win this season, while Gloversville, Broadalbin-Perth and Gloversville are off to 4-1 starts. Galway is unbeaten in its first three matches, while Canajoharie-Fort Plain is 4-2 in its first six contests.

Broadalbin-Perth is looking to defend its Section II Class B title and Mayfield is the defending Section II Class D champion.

Foothills Council

After winning the Section II Class B title and reaching the state semifinals last season, Broadalbin-Perth is looking for similar results this season.

The Lady Patriots lost Cassy Bown to graduation from last year’s team, which went 17-1 overall and 12-1 in Foothills Council play.

Bown was a first-team Foothills Council all-star and also was named fourth-team all-state.

B-P returns several players, including Sydney Rogers, Madison Fariello, Eliana Fraser, Sophia Rogers, Kassy Cassella and Lily Mitchell.

Fraser was the Foothills Council’s Most Valuable Player and fifth-team all-state as a junior, while Fariello and Mitchell were second-team Foothills Council all-star. Sydney Rogers was named Foothills Council honorable mention.

Newcomers Kelsey Hinderliter, Kiaira Tomlinson, Shelby Courtney and Olivia Fraser round out the B-P roster.

“We should be strong this season,” B-P coach Renee Gillen said. “We have a lot of experience on our team and that is priceless.”

In Johnstown, Holly Livingston takes over for Heather McGuire, who stepped down after leading the Lady Bills to a 10-5 overall record and 9-4 Foothills Council mark last season.

Livingston inherits a team that lost Janay Douglas, Macenzie Ward, Zoe Petrie, Salem Keeling, Jordyn Stoutner, Sydney Darling and Taylor Denmark.

Douglas and Ward were first-team Foothills Council all-stars last season, Petrie was named to the second team and Darling was named honorable mention.

Returning for the Lady Bills are Amber Tesi, Sadie Blowers, Julie Wager, Sam Simon and Brianne Hansen. Tesi was named Foothills Council honorable mention last season.

“Johnstown is in a rebuilding year. We have a young group of athletes and a sophomore setter running our offense,” Livingston said. “In the small amount of time that we have been working with these girls we have seen amazing spirit and the team is coming together as a whole.”

Newcomers Bri Subik, Gabby Elwood, Hannah Kosiba, Megan Smith, Anika Byrnes, Teianna Vetrano-Frasier and Shana Piehuta round out the Lady Bills’ roster.

“These girls are fun to coach and they always work hard in order to get better,” Livingston said. “We are working together as a team to achieve skills necessary for success. We are very excited to see them grow as a team as well as individuals.”

In his 10th season as coach, Gloversville’s Duane Hicks returns the majority of his roster from last season.

Aireana Muhlberger, Macey Salvione, Madelyn Avery, Hailee Thompson, Alyssa Martel and Gabby Belknap all return for the Huskies, who went 6-8 overall and 6-7 in Foothills Council play last year.

Salvione was named a first-team Foothills Council all-star last year, Avery was named to the second team and Muhlberger was named honorable mention.

Newcomers Isabella Hays and Ashley Ward round out the Gloversville roster.

“The girls are working hard and having fun,” Hicks said. “We’re hoping to improve on last season’s record.”

After posting a 5-12 overall record last season, Amsterdam returns Rachel Bevins, Katelynn Demitraszek, Aracelis Muniz, Kyrsten Orsini and Adriana Santiago-Bonet. Santiago-Bonet was named Foothills Council honorable mention last season.

The Lady Rams have added newcomers Angelique Brown, Brianna Francisco, Kaylyn Litchfield, Mercedes Lugo, Ayanna Rodriguez and Tehya Rodriguez to their roster as they look to improve upon last year’s 2-11 Foothills Council roster.

“We are looking forward to improvement,” said Amsterdam coach Christine Sherlock, who is in her 32nd season. “We are not tall, but we are very athletic.”


Entering her 18th season as coach, Mayfield’s Eileen Rovito faces a tough task as the Lady Panthers look to defend their Section II Class D crown.

Mayfield lost its entire starting lineup from last season’s team that reached the state semifinals.

Mikayla Myers, Emily Mormando, Samantha Kent, Taylor Proctor, Amy Laubenstein, Alexis Oliver, Isabelle Henderson and Katie LaGrange are all gone from last year’s squad.

Myers was named first-team all-state, while Mormando was named second-team all-state.

Returning for the Lady Panthers are Jordan Rivenburg, Grace Harper, Lila King and Deandra Myers, while newcomers Alissa Wilbur, Julia Fitzgerald, Tori Ruliffson, Megan Dion, Morgan Mraz and Madison Willis complete the roster.

“The 2019 season will no doubt be a building year with all the experience we graduated,” Rovito said. “However, the season outlook is still solid. We have great team dynamic and hope to work our way back to the top of the league and continue our presence deep into the sectional tournament.”

After losing to Mayfield in the Section II Class D title match last season, Galway lost several key contributors from last year’s team that went 14-2 overall and 10-0 in WAC play.

Emma Smith, Lindsay Zawisa, Samantha Grant, Kim LeCerais and Kaitlin Pritchard are all gone from last year’s team.

“Galway has had three successful seasons with a state final four appearance, sectional semifinal appearance and a sectional runner-up last season,” Galway coach Mike Glenn said. “Galway has to replace three huge pieces that helped lead to their success the previous three seasons. They will need the newcomers and returners to really step their performances this season if the Eagles are to have any success this year.”

Returning for Galway are Julia Reedy, Hannah Hoffmann, Anna Gardner, Katy Kurtzner, Diana Colangelo, Kylee Decker, Leah Willbrand and Aila Bishop.

Newcomers Grace O’Brien, Sadie Underwood, Sophia Fasolino, Amber Kolpakas and Jayden DeVellis round out the Golden Eagles’ roster.

“The Eagles will have a young overall roster with just four seniors and two juniors. They will rely heavily on the younger core group to step up for the team to have success. Galway will have three sophomores, three freshmen and an eighth-grader on their roster this year that will be expected to contribute a lot of court time,” Glenn said. “Galway is hoping to just stay competitive this year in their games as they have a lot of youth and large amounts of work to do this season to be where they’d like to get to. We are just taking it one day at a time with our goal everyday is to be better than we were the previous day. We ask each other at the end of everyday are you better than you were yesterday. The Lady Eagles are going to work as hard as they possibly can, and they understand it’s going to be a tough season and a learning experience for them this year. They hope to learn and gain experience to improve their game as the season goes along.“

After taking over midway through last season, Fonda-Fultonville coach Ashleigh Griswold lost several key players heading into her first full season at the helm.

The Lady Braves lost Taylor Etherton, Jillian Wilder, Kaitlyn Gray, Emelia Vardai-Davidson, Cassey Knowlton, Lexi Conti, Katelyn Babiarz and Natalie Demitraszek from last year’s team that went 10-3 overall and 8-3 in WAC play.

“We said goodbye to eight seniors last year which was hard to do. A lot of those girls played together for years,” Griswold said. “This year’s team doesn’t have the experience playing together but they’ve practiced together last year so this lineup is not completely unfamiliar.”

Returning for Fonda-Fultonville are Julia Bagnardi, Krystal McSpirit, Peyton Zilles, Jocelyn Miller and Marilyn Whitcavitch

Newcomers Adriana Butler, Madisyn Dineen, Carolyn Cranker, Kailee VanAvery and Meagan Hanson round out the FFCS roster.

“At the start of this season, the girls have created a goal for themselves. Half of our team experienced the road to sectionals last year and the five girls we welcomed on board, would like to,” Griswold said. “Though it is no simple task, they understand the work involved and have committed to doing what it takes to get there. I’m looking forward to what the season holds.”

After posting a 10-5 overall record and 6-4 WAC mark, Canajoharie-Fort Plain returns Sydney Shepard, Lauren Weinberger, Sarah Paradiso, McKayla Hayner, Bella Page, Crystal Smith and Zavia Allen.

Olivia Kennedy, Kaylee Sanders, Selyna Dumond, Rachel Zuppardi and Samara Mattice are new to the C-FP roster this season.

“We have some talented players who are developing some good chemistry,” C-FP coach Lisa Trembley said. “The players are stepping up to fill the shoes of the seniors who graduated. This is an amazing group, and I am enjoying watching them grow together.”

In her first season as coach, Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville’s Danielle Schmidt takes over a team that went 1-11 overall and 1-9 in WAC play last season.

The Lady Wolves lost Shaina Golliday, Meadow Arduini, Chassity Hazzard, Fontana LaCoppola and Hannah Ouderkirk from last year’s team.

Returning for OESJ are Kaydence Souza, Kayla Hine, Kenidee Oare, Amethyst Scherer, Mackenzie Smith and Gabby LaCoppola.

Newcomers Emilie Peterson, Tavia Schaffer, Hannah Johnson and Abigail Blakeslee round out the Lady Wolves’ roster.

“I’m very excited for this season. We have a few newcomers as well as great athletes from last year,” Schmidt said. “We hope to win as many games as we can and play the sport we love.”

By Paul Wager

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