With the end of the high school volleyball season approaching, some teams have separated for the Section III playoffs.
With open playoffs in Section III, all teams are allowed to participate in the game after the season, but there are a few teams to keep an eye on as the playoffs approach.
The New Hartford Spartans have dominated all season and have a 15-0 record with one game to go before the sections start. With the exception of three games, the Spartans won every game 3-0.
In the other three games, they won 3-1. It was clear that New Hartford is the top team in the region this season, led by Taylor Krol (117 kills, 117 digs, 25 aces), Makenzie Desmarais (111 kills, 107 digs, 14 set assists, 31 aces) and Elise Courto (115 kills, 62 digs, 32 aces).
Another top team in the TVL is the Whitesboro Warriors. The Warriors are right behind the Spartans with a 13-2 ‘record’. The Warriors have gotten solid contributions from top to bottom, but specifically, Riley Collis (104 kills, 15 blocks, 21 digs, 31 aces) and Tara Williams (49 kills, 112 digs, 48 aces) paved the way for this successful Whitesboro team.
State Conference Center
The Mount Markham Mustangs sit atop CSC Division III with an unbeaten 13-0 record. As a Class C school, the Mustangs have challenged themselves by playing Class A schools such as RFA, East-Syracuse Minoa, and Whitesboro and beating them all. Chloe Poland has rushed Mount Markham with her team that led 121 kills and 92 aces. Lauren Jones added 60 aces, 233 set assists, and 49 digs to increase the Mustangs’ success. Due to their regular season success and challenging opponents, the Mustangs are a team to watch as the postseason kicks in.
Dolgeville is another CSC team enjoying success this season. The Blue Devils are currently 13-3 and the top team in CSC Division II. Two of Dolgeville’s losses were against top team Mount Markham and the other was close against Cooperstown. Those setbacks aside, the Blue Devils have won every game 3-0 and are showing that they are not a team to go into the playoffs lightly. Rylee Lamphere has been a leader for Dolgeville with 163 kills, 126 digs, 128 set assists and 84 aces. Madisen Gorinshenk has also been a big help with 73 kills, 103 digs, 20 set assists, and 78 aces.
Sauquoit Valley is right behind Mount Markham in CSC Division III with an 11-4 record. Ella Luczak (45 digs, 213 set assists and 28 aces) and Brooke King (50 kills, 21 digs, 32 aces) have been a big contributor to this Sauquoit Valley team.
Perhaps the surprise of not just the CSC, but all of Section III is: New York Mills. The Marauders have struggled immensely in recent years. Prior to this season, the Marauders had not won a game since the 2017 season. This year they turned themselves into one of the top teams in the region with an 11-5 record and have shown that they need to be taken seriously as the postseason approaches. Emily League leads the team in kills with 122 and teammate Samantha Paparella leads with 41 aces.
The Girls Volleyball Section III placement meeting for the playoffs will take place on Tuesday, February 1. The first round of matches will take place on February 2, with the higher-ranking players organizing their matches. The playoffs end Saturday, February 12 at Jamesville-DeWitt High School.
Kenny Lacy is a sports reporter for the Observer-Dispatch. Email Kenny Lacy at email@example.com.