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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 13, 2011

Guilderland volleyball team doesn’t let up

By Jordan J. Michael

CLIFTON PARK –– Guilderland did its best to be persistent against Shenendehowa, but the host team pulled away in every set for the win, although Guilderland had posted early leads.

Volleyball is a streaky sport. Something that’s there could be gone in a matter of seconds. Guilderland was on to something, but those streaks on Saturday were overshadowed by a Shen team trying to defend its Class AA title.

“The momentum is always back-and-forth,” said Dutch Head Coach Jessica Allen after the Columbus Day Conquest tournament semi-final. “This game is very mental and there’s no down time. You’re constantly thinking, anticipating.”

Guilderland went 6-3 in pool play with three set wins over both Ballston Spa and Niskayuna, a team the Lady Dutch lost to in straight sets in the beginning of the season. Guilderland was second in Pool B, so it played Shen, who was first in Pool A.

“I’m proud of the overall improvement we’ve been showing,” Allen said. Her team has two seniors, seven juniors, and one ninth-grader.

Senior Co-Captain Amanda Kernozek told The Enterprise that Shenendehowa had better hits and form, but Guilderland’s play was nothing to sneer at. The Lady Dutch held its own and had plenty of uplifting moments during the somewhat tight match.

“They’re just really good, with so many girls to chose from,” Kernozek said of Shen. “We’re still learning.”

Allen said that learning happens in the middle of each match. “You learn as you go,” she said. “Energy comes from being upbeat and positive. Players can’t be doubting themselves.”

Guilderland, which won tournaments at Colonie and Saratoga this season, focuses on the positive. “You’ve just got to be on your feet,” said Kernozek. “We’ll pick each other up when we’re down. It’s going to be all right.”

The Lady Dutch are 6-5 in regular Suburban Council matches, but tournaments give the team more time to work and bond as a team. With a full day of volleyball, Allen can mix things up.

“I get joy from seeing these girls grow,” the coach concluded.

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