Original Article Courtesy of News Tribune, Beau Troutman
MANLIUS — The first set didn’t go well for the Princeton volleyball team. The second and third sets were a different story. The Tigresses defeated Bureau Valley 12-25, 25-22, 25-11 in a Three Rivers Conference East Division match on Tuesday. The match had eight lead changes as Princeton — which went down 10-2 in the beginning of the first set — was a drastically different team in sets two and three.
“After that first set, I think we were honestly really embarrassed,” said senior Kaylee Hammerich, who led both teams with 13 kills. “We just weren’t bringing the energy that we usually do. We picked it up toward the end. It felt like one of our better games after the third set.”
The second set had five lead changes alone and with the set tied at 8-8, BV hit the ball out of bounds, starting a Princeton rally that saw the team take a 20-11 lead.
“Our assistant coach Heather (Raffelson) said it best, ‘It’s a weird game,’” said PHS coach Andy Puck. “Of their first 15 points, we had 11 unforced errors. They were aggressive errors, but in this game, that’s all momentum. You can’t let that happen. “We just lucked out. We rallied each other, trusted each other and we were able to score more than them.”
BV (5-6, 3-2 TRAC) started a run of its own and cut the lead to 22-20 thanks to a kill from senior Emily Fordham, who had five points. However, Hammerch hammered down a kill and an ace the next two points and the Storm hit the ball out of bounds for Princeton’s 25th point a few moments later. BV coach Caitlyn DeMay tried to get her team to bounce back from mistakes in the second set. “Game 1 was great,” DeMay said. “We went out and we executed what we needed to do. And then in Game 2, first contact, we struggled a little bit. It’s just that mental game of the first contact with the ball. You can’t set the offense up without the serve receive. “I was trying to have them focus on seeing the bottom of the ball and get the ball to the setter so she’s not running all over the place and just motivate them and show them who they are — who we were in Game 1. We just couldn’t serve receive.” In the third, Hammerich spiked down a kill for a 3-2 PHS lead — which ended up being the final lead change of the game.
The Tigresses (7-6, 4-1 TRC East) went to take on leads of 13-5 and 20-7 before getting the final point on a kill from junior Kenzie Coleman, who had six kills and nine digs.
Puck said his team’s domineering offense began in the back row. “It all started with Corinne Peterson in the back row,” Puck said. “We marched two freshmen out there. Our setter is running the offense, she put our hitters in those situations to get kills. Kaylee and Kenzie were just dynamite tonight, but it starts in the pass and the set — and that was Corinne and Katie (Bates). “We put it all together tonight. It was fun to see.” Hammerich said the Princeton hitters know they can rely on Peterson, who had 21 digs, to set them up.
“(Peterson) definitely talks us through everything, she yells at us when it’s necessary and she picks us up when it’s necessary,” Hammerich said. “She knows the right things to say. She definitely brings our team together.”
Bates had 25 assists and senior Olivia Vergamini added six kills. For BV (5-6, 3-2 TRC East), senior Saige Barnett had six kills and four blocks. Marissa Endress had 14 digs and Molly Bohm had 13 assists