Fredonia loses to Lady Bulldogs

OBSERVER Photo by Mary Ann Wiberg Brocton’s Jennifer Potter (16) battles Fredonia’s Ashley Atzrott and Mackenzie Markham (2) at the net.

BROCTON — Brocton-Westfield (1-4, 1-2) earned a four-set win over Fredonia (2-3, 1-2) in CCAA North girls volleyball action Tuesday afternoon by scores of 25-22, 12-25, 25-14, 25-20.

“It was really a nice, all around team win,” Brocton-Westfield head coach Andy Deakin said. “Everybody contributed and their communication was the key for us.”

The two teams went back and forth in the first set, with the Lady Bulldogs using a 6-1 run to build a 20-17 lead, before the Lady Hillbillies used a 5-1 run of their own to pull within 23-22. However, Brocton-Westfield was able to squeeze out the final two points to go up, 1-0.

The energy the team came out with,” Deakin said of what he liked about the way his team started the match. “That last match we played was one of the flattest they have been. We were talking about it in practice (Monday) about the lack of energy. (Tuesday) we were yelling, ‘intensity,’ in the huddle every time we came out of it and we played with it right from the get-go. We have a problem with slow starts and they really came out and worked from the get-go and the energy they played with (Tuesday) was really the difference.”

In the second set, the Lady Hillbillies cruised to an easy win to even the match, 1-all. Lianna DiRusso spurred an 11-1 run from the service line to help put Fredonia up, 13-6, before the Lady Hillbillies pushed that scoring surge to 19-3 for a 21-8, finally putting the Lady Bulldogs away, 25-12.

“I love when the girls have that upbeat energy and that intensity and when they work well together and put it all out there on the court,” Fredonia head coach Amanda Krakowiak said. “That’s what we’re looking to channel every game.

“I’ve just been seeing more and more improvement from the girls in general,” Krakowiak noted. “And Lianna DiRusso, she really stepped up. This was her best match so far this season.”

From there, however, the Lady Bulldogs were able to defend their home court, as they used 9-2 run to take a 12-7 lead in the third set and then held leads of 17-10 and 20-12 before finishing the Lady Hillbillies off, 25-14.

“They played really good, all around volleyball that game,” Deakin said. “That was probably the only comfortable game in the match. They jumped out right from the get-go and Fredonia had some errors. It wasn’t just that we were hitting the ball well, but we were playing fundamentally sound, we weren’t beating ourselves, we were keeping the ball in play and that really showed. We weren’t missing serves, weren’t making unforced errors, we kept the ball in play, and got a couple kills.”

“We’re still just working on mechanics and working on putting our offense and defense together and trying some girls out in some different spots,” Krakowiak added. “So we’re playing with some different things, but we’re getting there little by little.”

The Lady Hillbillies started the fourth game on a promising 11-2 run, but were unable to sustain it, as the Lady Bulldogs came roaring back to eventually tie the score, 14-14, 16-16 and 17-all, before they went ahead for good 18-17 en route to a 25-20 win.

“We actually laughed a little bit because we’ve started two of our matches earlier this year down 10-2,” Deakin noted. “That seems to be a score we’ve hit a bunch and we looked up at the score and it was 10-2, so I told the team that we had been there before and to let’s see if we can work ourselves out of it. And we slowly chipped away, nobody tried to be a hero, they communicated great and the bench came in and did their job. I was subbing in some servers and they went in and performed well for me.”

“Volleyball is a game of momentum and momentum swings,” Krakowiak noted. “And it just takes one bad thing and it’s hard to get that momentum back. It’s always crucial when you lose the serve to try and do everything you can to get it back and to keep it and protect it.”

For the Lady Bulldogs, Sophia DeMarco finished with 10 points, four aces, four kills and two blocks, Jenny Potter had six kills and two assists and Lindsey Stahlman had eight assists, three digs and two aces in the win.

Meanwhile, for Fredonia, DiRusso finished with 10 digs, three aces and three kills, Mackenzie Markham had six aces and two blocks, Tess Correll had seven assists and four aces and Gracie Morrison finished with five kills.

“The girls are working hard and never giving up,” Krakowiak said. “And I appreciate that greatly. We’ll get there, but it’s the little things that we’re still learning.”