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Volleyball: South High vs. Queensbury

Grace Taylor (4) and Sadie Clough (12) of South Glens Falls go up for the block as Queensbury's Denaly Camp tries to spike the ball during Friday's volleyball match in South Glens Falls.

SOUTH GLENS FALLS — The South Glens Falls volleyball team is a delightful (or frightening) math equation.

Coach Alicia Collier lost three, has been looking for one and got 10, including six. Makes sense, right?

It does to the Bulldogs, who improved to 4-0 in the Foothills Council and 5-0 overall with a 3-0 sweep of Queensbury on Friday, 25-23, 25-19, 25-18.

South High lost three key starters from last year’s Class A sectional finalist team, but expectations are always high.

“With some big losses last year, my kids have really been striving hard to work together as a team,” Collier said. “I’ve been waiting for that one player to step up and I’ve had all 10 of them step up. No matter which six are on the court at any given time, they are working together as a team. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”

It took a team to come back on Queensbury in the first game. The Spartans (2-1 league, 2-3 overall) had several seven-point leads, the last one being 19-12. But behind the serving of Kionah Thomas, South High turned a 19-13 deficit into a 19-19 tie. Queensbury held onto the lead, 23-22, but had a block go out of bounds to make it 23-all, saw an ace from South High’s Karli Chamberlin and then was called for a carry on set point.

“We got the momentum back and I think that’s what geared us,” said South High junior middle blocker Grace Taylor, who had five kills and four blocks.

“We’ve struggled with that a little bit, being able to keep those leads,” Queensbury coach Tyler Carey said. “We’re pretty good at producing those leads. And sometimes on the other side, we get in a really big hole and it’s tough for us to dig back out of it.”

Queensbury held a narrower lead in the second game, but South High took its first lead at 10-9 and never relinquished a lead the rest of the day.

“It was one of our biggest matches,” Taylor said. “I think that we communicated well, so then our passes were on so we could get the offense that we needed.”

South High also got outstanding defense, especially from junior outside hitter Kionah Thomas, who made several spectacular digs.

“Kionah works really hard back there,” Collier said. “She’s fast and she has great court sense. She reads other offensive players very well so she can react to them.”

Another aspect of South High’s defense that was on point was its blocking, which Collier said the team spent time working on in preparation for Friday.

“That was time well spent because my middle blockers were timing the ball well, penetrating over the net,” Collier said. “Grace had a bunch. Kasen (Lemay) had a couple, but even my pin blockers working on setting the block for our outside blocks, they did a really good job.”

Queensbury played without two injured starters: libero Isabella Salatino and outside hitter Isabella Carusone, but Carey said his bench has depth.

“When it comes to that, we’ve got a bunch of kids who can play the positions,” he said. “This is my 11th season doing varsity. Most of my losses, I don’t have a lot of them, most of them are here. Coming here in the ‘Dog Pound,’ it’s always a tough place to play. We knew we were going to have to do everything right all the time and we just couldn’t do it.

“We actually have made some improvements and are starting to see some growth with their mental toughness. I was actually really pleased,” Carey added.

South High 3, Queensbury 0

(at South Glens Falls)

Set scores — 25-23, 25-19, 25-18.

Queensbury — Delaney Camp 8 kills. Brooke Taylor 5 kills, 5 digs. Alexis Rogers, 4 kills, 2 blocks.

South Glens Falls — Karli Chamberlin 6 kills, 6 aces. Grace Taylor 5 kills, 4 blocks. Sadie Clough 6 kills, 2 blocks. Haylee Scarincio 11 digs, 6 service points.

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Follow Will Springstead on Twitter @WSpringsteadPSV.

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