Lady Marauders grab win in volleyball

Dunkirk-Fredonia rivalry renewed

Dunkirk’s Amari Carter (19) prepares to tap the ball over the net as Fredonia’s Gracie Morrison defends during a high school volleyball match Tuesday in Dunkirk.

The Dunkirk-Fredonia rivalry game lived up to its hype as the volleyball teams were creating back-and-forth runs all Tuesday night. However, the Marauders got the win, 3-1, with set scores of 25-17, 23-25, 25-17, 25-22 at the Dunkirk High School Volleyball Gym.

The win moves Dunkirk to a 2-6 record in CCAA North play and 3-6 overall while dropping the Hillbillies to a 2-6 record in league and an overall record of 2-9.

“Always good to get the win. Really, really good to get the win against Fredonia,” Dunkirk coach Jamie Thompson said. “The girls needed it.”

The first set was all Dunkirk. Once tied at 12-all, the Marauders went on a run to swing the momentum in their favorite and win it 25-17.

The second set is when Fredonia found its footing. After an early 5-2 lead for Dunkirk, the teams found themselves tied at 5-all, 8-all and later, 16-all.

Dunkirk looked to be making a small run as its lead was 20-18, but Fredonia coach Amanda Krakowiak took a timeout to regroup her girls.

“I try and get the girls motivated and boost their morale,” she said.

It worked.

The Hillbillies took the competitive second set, where no team had a lead larger than four, 25-23 and tied the game at 1-all.

The Hillbillies started the third with a 5-0 run, however, the Marauders rallied. Dunkirk would outscore Fredonia 25-12 from that point on and give the home crowd something to cheer for, being up two sets to one.

In the fourth set, both teams struggled to find a rhythm as the game was, again, back and forth. In an attempt to rally her girls, Krakowiak took a timeout down 20-17. Fredonia made small strides as Krakowiak took another timeout, then down 23-21. The Hillbillies could not find a late rally as Dunkirk finished the game by taking the set 25-22.

“They fought through,” Thompson said of her Marauders. “They didn’t let their heads get in it. They showed camaraderie, everyone was in it. It’s what’s in them that is finally getting out of them. So, it’s amazing.”

For Fredonia, the team acknowledged that it is still adapting. Fredonia’s Krakowiak noted that their energy wasn’t as high as it needed to be.

“This year has been a learning experience for us,” the coach said. “We just didn’t have the fire and intensity that we needed to come out with. We just were really flat. We just need that one person to step up and get the girls going and we don’t have that right now.”

Fredonia’s Maggie Mignoli led the team with 11 assists and added six aces. Mackenzie Markham had seven kills and three blocks and Gracie Morrison had six kills and two blocks.

For Dunkirk, Alexis Tofil had 12 aces, while Aaliyah Bass had six kills and Paola Rodriguez had 12 digs.

Thompson saw something special in her girls on Tuesday that helped carry the team to a win.

“Oh my goodness, Alexis stepped up big time with her serves,” Thompson said. “Cathy stepped up in the back row. Every senior stepped up. Aaliyah Bass stepped up with her kills. Nadara my sophomore, my new middle blocker, stepped up with some blocks and some kills. Honestly, everybody stepped up. There wasn’t one person that took a play off.”

Sophomore Jessica Beehler played a key role in the win over Fredonia. Beehler said that the rivalry win meant more to the team than a typical win.

“It is even better because we know them more,” Beehler said. “We are more competitive with people that we know because we want to win against them.”

Twitter: @Kuczkowski95