December 2, 2021

Dryden girls advance with comeback win over Waverly

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DRYDEN — The No. 8 seeded Dryden girls volleyball team dug themselves a hole Monday night, but managed to steal a victory over No. 9 Waverly to advance to the quarterfinals of the NYSPHSAA Section IV Class C tournament.

The Lions held leads in each of the first two sets, but lost them due to lengthy Waverly runs and were facing elimination. The Wolverines had a 16-3 run in the first set to overcome a massive deficit and another 12-2 run in the second set. Waverly took the first two sets 27-25 and 25-21, respectively.

Dryden knew their backs were against the wall and needed to change things up.

“Improving our serve receive was a big thing, but my girls, their mindset changed,” Dryden coach Marge Hartquist said. “I was super proud of them for that. A lot of games in the past, if we had gotten down from the beginning, then they’d stay down and not get their heads back in it. I think it was the excitement, the crowd, the home game, it got them amped up and they were able to change their mindset and play a great game.”

Lions seniors Katherine Spano and Margaret Murphy and junior Sophia Yuz’vak were a part of all the big moments Dryden needed later in the match. In a play early in the third set that ignited the student section, mainly comprised of the Dryden football team, and changed the energy the Lions played with on the floor, Yuz’vak dove out of bounds to save a ball and Spano redirected it back over the net and off the floor for a point.

After that, Dryden’s momentum kept them in charge the rest of the way. Good things happened whenever Spano, a SUNY Oneonta volleyball commit, touched the ball later in the match.

“She’s super exciting to watch,” Hartquist said. “She has a very good volleyball mentality. She reads the ball well and she reads the other team well.”

The Lions won the third set, 25- 21, and the fourth, 25-18, setting up a winner-take-all fifth set.

The final set was all Dryden, with the Lions going up 24-15 thanks to the Wolverines’ problems handling serves. However, Waverly had one final comeback effort in the tank. The Wolverines cut it to 24-19, but an unforced error handed Dryden the final point, leading the student section to rush the court.

There’s not much time for the Lions to celebrate the victory, as they turn around at 6 p.m. today and take on top-seeded Lansing on the road. Dryden has lost to Lansing in straight sets both times they matched up this year, but the Lions have momentum after Monday’s scintillating victory.

“I think the one thing we’ll have going for us is that they have been dominant all season,” Hartquist said. “They might just take advantage of the fact that, ‘we’ve been up, we’ve got this no problem.’ And I think we’re going to come out fighting and they might not be expecting that. So hopefully we can catch them off their game.”


TODAY’S SCHEDULE

BOYS SOCCER
No. 1 Cincinnatus vs. No. 2 Belleville-Henderson, 5 p.m. at V-V-S

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
No. 8 Dryden at No. 1 Lansing, 6 p.m.
No. 3 Homer at No. 2 Westhill, 6 p.m.