Shenendehowa girls’ volleyball team takes Burnt Hills to 5 sets in thriller

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BY MICHAEL KELLY
Gazette Sportswriter

BURNT HILLS — The streak lives.

Pushed to the limit, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake survived with its Suburban Council winning streak intact Monday, weathering a frantic effort from a young Shenendehowa girls’ volleyball squad. The Spartans’ streak hit 376 with a heart-pounding 3-2 victory: 25-14, 25-27, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19.

“We wanted to go out and fight for every point we could,” said Burnt Hills senior Meghan Keyes, who produced 13 kills, 10 digs, and the game-winning hit. “This showed us a lot about ourselves. It showed us we’re tough and prepared for anything. Shen did a great job, but we were ready.”

The five-set match was the first this century in league play for Burnt Hills, which last lost within the Suburban Council in 1990.

“But we don’t play for streaks,” Burnt Hills coach Gary Bynon said. “People love to talk streaks, but we play for this team.”

After a rough first set, though, Shenendehowa took it to that team. The Lady Plainsmen, which only have one senior on their roster, went back-and-forth with Burnt Hills in the second set, and scored the game’s final three points to earn a confidence-building win.

“Burnt Hills is one of the strongest teams in the state and I expected us to compete, by all means, but when we started taking control and keeping control — at points — it felt like we could pull this out,” Shenendehowa coach Lori Kessler said. “Taking that [second] set gave my kids confidence.”

From there, Kessler said, “it was on.”

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About the Author

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly is a sports reporter for Your Clifton Park and Your Niskayuna, weekly print publications of The Daily Gazette. Kelly grew up in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2006. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Kelly's work has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association, the New York State Associated Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. His work has previously been featured in The (Amsterdam) Recorder, The Saratogian, and Albany Times Union.