Lady Braves advance

FONDA – Opening the Section II Class C Tournament at home for the first time since 2010, the Fonda-Fultonville volleyball made the most of its opportunity.

The Lady Braves posted a 3-0 sweep of Hoosic Valley on Wednesday.

The seventh-seeded Lady Braves won by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-22 over the 10th-seeded Indians.

“[Fonda-Fultonville] had some very good hitters and servers,” Hoosic Valley coach Sue Kardash said. “They play consistent volleyball.”

FFCS started quickly, using a 6-0 service run by Kerrigan McCaslin to take an early lead.

“That’s why we have Kerrigan serve first,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Pat Mancini said. “She’s always puts her serves in and gets us going.”

Hoosic Valley answered with five straight points, to cut the lead to 6-5.

From there, the teams traded points until seven unanswered service points by Cory Lais broke the first game open for the Lady Braves, giving them a 21-12 lead.

FFCS scored four of the final five points of the first set to seal a 25-13 win.

In the second set, the Indians grabbed the early lead, taking a 12-6 advantage.

“The second game is always very tough for us,” Mancini said.

As she did in the first set, McCaslin helped the Lady Braves from the service line, reeling off eight straight points to help her team take a 15-12 advantage.

Miranda Nethaway added three straight service points to make it 19-13 before FFCS held off a late Hoosic Valley rally to win the set 25-19.

In the third and final set, Hoosic Valley jumped out to an early 5-3 lead before four straight service points from Kyla Miller gave FFCS 7-5 lead. Two of those points ended on kills by Lais, who added a four-point service run later in the set to give the Lady Braves a 14-9 lead.

The Indians closed to within a point at 17-16 after a four-point service run from Katrina Dean only to have Shawna Trigg answer for FFCS with four-point service run of her own to make it 22-16.

“As we played each game, I think we jelled a little better,” Kardash said.

Hoosic Valley won six of the next eight points to make it 24-22, but the Lady Braves got the point they needed to seal the win.

The victory was the first sectional win for the Lady Braves on their home court since a 3-0 win over Chatham in the opening round of the Class CC tournament in 2010.

“We’ve been working a lot more with the middle and outside hitters this week,” Mancini said. “I think it made a difference.”

Lais finished with 12 service points, 10 aces, six kills and three digs for the Lady Braves, while McCaslin posted 20 service points, 14 assists and six aces. Nethaway added nine kills and two blocks for FFCS.

Fonda-Fultonville advances to face second-seeded Voorheesville, a Colonial Council rival, on Friday at 5 p.m. in the Class C quarterfinals. The two-time defending Class C champion Blackbirds won both regular-season meetings with the Lady Braves.

“It’s always hard to play a team for a third time,” Mancini said. “We’ve got nothing to lose. We’re going to play the best we can and hope something comes out of it.”

Hoosic Valley finished its season with a 7-9 overall record.