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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, September 29, 2011
Dutchmen volleyball team plays hard but needs more kills and blocks
By Jordan J. Michael
GUILDERLAND The Dutchmen had its share of leads in the second and third games, but couldn’t hold on to win either one.
It was a tight volleyball match between Guilderland and powerhouse Burnt Hills on Friday. Once it looked as if the Dutch were gaining momentum, the Spartans, with big hitters Jon Weaver and Forrest Burnetter, would claim it back. Burnt Hills won, 25-11, 25-20, and 25-22.
“The last two games were pretty good for us,” said Guilderland Head Coach Nick Warren after the match. “We got our touches, but couldn’t finish.”
In the second game, Guilderland (2-6) had leads of 6 to 3, 13 to 10, and 19 to 17. Then, Burnt Hills scored seven straight points for a 24-to-19 advantage. Peter Libertucci had a block to keep the Dutchmen alive, but Weaver’s kill clipped the line to give the game to the Spartans.
Junior Matt Yankowski made a kill for Guilderland, then followed that up with a service ace to give his team a 5-to-3 lead in the third set. The score tied at 8 to 8, and then Burnt Hills ran its lead to 16 to 12. Both teams were giving a valiant effort.
“We got to get blocks,” said Yankowski, mentioning that at least five, if not more, are needed in each game. “We had a few good ones, but we need more. It’s extremely important because the people in the back have a harder time if you don’t get blocks.”
With the Spartans’ victory looming, the Flying Dutchmen started to get uneasy. After Peter Libertucci missed a set in the third game, he subbed himself out immediately, clearly frustrated as he took a seat on the bench.
Guilderland got to within one-point twice, 22 to 21 and 23 to 22, but Dan Symer clinched the match for Burnt Hills with his seventh and final kill of the match.
“No one is going to give us any wins,” Warren said of his team, which has three seniors. “We play hard, but can’t finish.”
Burnt Hills (4-4) was a Section II champion for six years running before Bethlehem won the title last season. On Friday, Weaver, Symer, Burnetter, and Devin Sandman combined for 29 kills. Guilderland had its hands full, but hung close.
Warren told The Enterprise that the Dutch have a “strong front row,” but need to improve on blocking and passing. “We have talent, but it needs to be out together,” he said. “We’ll be a more serious competitor by the end of the season.”
Guilderland will continue to improve if the players “live and breathe volleyball,” Warren said.
“This game can be very intense, but it’s fun,” Yankowski said. “We’re all volleyball players at the end of the day.”
Here are some mid-season statistics for the Dutchmen:
Nick Schwartz, 96 assists, 21 kills, 18 blocks;
Jake Dube, 35 kills, 14 blocks;
Matt Anderson, 20 kills, 10 blocks;
Peter Libertucci, 25 kills, 15 blocks;
Matt Yankowski, 18 kills, 14 blocks; and
Trevor Laicha, 5 kills, 12 blocks.