Fredonia sweeps

Hillbillies earn first league victory vs. Dunkirk

The Fredonia Hillbillies celebrate after securing a victory over the Dunkirk. Pictured are Maddie Saunders (1), Madison Ambrose (5), Elizabeth Morris, obstructed, and Lydia Labarr, far left. OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen

After seven consecutive losses, the Fredonia Hillbillies came into Tuesday’s rivalry match with Dunkirk hoping to stem the tide.

They did so in the biggest way possible.

Fredonia defeated the rival Marauders 25-14, 25-14 and 25-18 in Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 West volleyball action at Fredonia High School.

“It always does (add to the performance),” said Fredonia coach Amanda Krakowiak. “There’s always that additional aspect with the rivalry. It builds them up. It’s a game where with Dunkirk … we definitely want to win this game.”

Fredonia (2-7, 1-6) took each of the first two sets by identical 25-14 scores, but the second set was within two points at 13-11 thanks in part to the serving of Dunkirk senior Alyssa Salerno. However, the Hillbillies were able to hold off the Dunkirk rally with five of the next six points before a timeout, then six straight coming out of the timeout totaling a run of 11 out of a possible 12 points to grab a commanding lead in the set.

Fredonia’s Katherine Fortna, right, returns a Dunkirk serve as teammate Maddie Saunders (1) looks on during Tuesday’s volleyball match between Fredonia and Dunkirk at Fredonia High School. OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen

“We set up our offense a lot today. I was very proud of the girls controlling the ball,” said Krakowiak. “One of the things we’ve been talking about is trying to attack more. … They definitely took that to heart and were trying to be more aggressive with the offense.”

Dunkirk (0-8, 0-7) still would not give up without a fight, as the Marauders responded in the third set by splitting the first 10 points evenly at five apiece. Dunkirk then held a narrow lead that teetered between a point or two up until an even score again at 11-all. From that point on, Fredonia pulled away and capped off a 21-18 lead by scoring the final four points of the contest.

“It’s definitely a morale-booster,” said Krakowiak of the victory. “We’re at our halfway point in our season, so we’re moving forward in a positive direction. … This gives the girls the confidence to believe in their ability and their skill and to believe they can do this.”

The Hillbillies were led by Elizabeth Morris with seven kills, nine digs and three aces; Maddie Saunders with four kills, two digs and five aces; and Lydia Labarr with 13 digs and four aces.

“I’m very proud of the girls’ performance. I look forward to what they can do the rest of the season,” Krakowiak said.

Dunkirk’s Alyssa Salerno (7) returns a Fredonia serve during Tuesday’s volleyball match at Fredonia High School. OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen

Fredonia hosts Portville on Thursday while Dunkirk hosts Allegany-Limestone.


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