October 4, 2013

Patriots snap Eagles' CVAC streak

RICKY ST. CLAIR Press-Republican

CLINTONVILLE — For a Champlain Valley Athletic Conference volleyball team, stealing a set from Beekmantown is a feat in itself.

To do it three times is almost unthinkable.

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AuSable Valley did just that Thursday.

Winning Game 5 25-23, AuSable Valley knocked off the perennial CVAC power three games to two, snapping the Eagles’ CVAC winning streak that dated back to 2010.

“I don’t have any words at all of what’s going on,” Patriots senior captain Miranda Sheffer said. “I’m still shocked that we actually beat the one team that nobody else could beat in this league.”

After winning Game 1 25-21, Beekmantown dropped its first CVAC set since 2011 in Game 2, 25-22.

Entering the match, the Eagles had won 123 of their last 125 sets in CVAC play.

“It has been a long time,” Patriots coach Sandra Hoey said. “We knew we could play with them. It was a matter of finishing the deal. We started the match with a lot of unforced errors — misserves and hits into the net. I attribute that to a lot of nerves, but they settled down.”

Like two heavyweight fighters, the league’s top two volleyball teams exchanged wins in Game 3 and 4, respectively.

Despite the Eagles jumping out to a 15-10 advantage in Game 5, AuSable Valley was able to rally for a two-point win in front of a ruckus hometown crowd, 25-23.

“We were communicating, and we tried some different stuff on the court,” Sheffer said. “We just believed that we could do this. We went over different situations in practices, and we knew we just had to stay confident.”

Sheffer paced the Patriots with 12 points, one ace, six kills, 13 digs and 19 assists. Noelle Miller added eight points, three aces, 14 kills, 10 digs, one block and three assists.

Beekmantown coach Shana Hileman said it was one of the best games she’s watched in her coaching career.

“We were in their gym, and they had a lot of things go their way,” Hileman said. “We played well, but we weren’t as consistent. AuSable Valley was just more consistent in crunch time when it mattered most. You can’t be perfect all the time, but the loss will motivate us to improve in certain areas.”

Michaela Lafountain led the Eagles with five points, three blocks, 46 assists and 14 digs. Jordynne Ales, a libero, registered 12 points, two aces and 37 digs.

“We knew AuSable would bring tough serving to the table, and we did an excellent job receiving its serves,” Hileman said. “Every single game was a back-and-forth battle. AuSable Valley made smart decisions and remained calm under pressure. This game only preps us for postseason play.”

With the win, AuSable Valley improved to 7-1 in league play. Its only setback was a 3-0 decision to Beekmantown on the road Sept. 5.

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Patriots hosted their Dig Pink Event Thursday. Proceeds were donated to the CVPH Treasure Chest and Sarah Tromblee, an AuSable Valley alumna who has been battling breast cancer since May 2011.

“We just couldn’t have done it without every single person here,” Patriots junior Jocelyn Racette said. “The people in the stands got us pumped for everything. It’s an incredible feeling, especially with Sarah being here.”

AuSable Valley 3, Beekmantown 2

21-25, 25-22, 12-25, 25-18, 25-23.

Beek- Lafountain 5 points, 3 blocks, 46 assists, 14 digs. Gates 6 digs, 1 kill. Manor 2 blocks, 4 kills. Kelly 6 points, 3 blocks, 19 kills, 25 digs. Ales 12 points, 2 aces, 37 digs. Frechette 6 points, 1 ace, 1 assists, 10 kills, 20 digs. Vicencio 21 digs. Ryan 15 points, 5 aces, 6 blocks, 15 kills, 15 digs. Anderson 19 points, 8 aces, 3 blocks, 5 assists, 9 kills, 14 digs.

AV- Miller 8 points, 3 aces, 14 kills, 10 digs, 1 blocks, 3 assists; Brown 6 points, 5 kills, 11 digs, 1 block; Sheffer 12 points, 1 ace, 6 kills, 13 digs, 19 assists; Bourgeois 6 kills, 1 block; Lincoln 12 points, 1 kills, 21 digs; Racette 7 points, 2 aces, 7 kills, 2 digs; Maloney 6 digs; O’Neil 8 points, 2 aces, 10 kills, 4 digs, 1 block, 20 assists.