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Hall tops Putnam County in two sets

Volleyball: Hall def. Putnam County 25-15, 25-20

SPRING VALLEY — The Putnam County volleyball team made the short trip to Spring Valley Wednesday to take on Hall in what turned out to be a tough matchup.

However, the Lady Red Devils prevailed in two sets, 25-15 and 25-20.

Both games were seesaw affairs that saw the home team put together runs at the end of each game to come away with the win.

"Our defense was good, because if you’re going to be short, you have to play good defense,” Lady Devils coach Demi Salazar said. “We have good kids, and we finished well tonight.”

Game 1 began with each team gaining sideouts until Kennedi Bozydio fired an ace that led to a PC 6-2 lead, The game would go back and forth with each team winning rallies to side out until the scoreboard read 10-6 in favor of the Panthers.

After a long rally finished in favor of a Hall five-point run — which featured a huge dig from Madelyn Hultz, a pair of rocket spikes from Meghan Bernadoni and a Lily Orlandi block — the Devils held a 12-10 advantage.

PC’s Caitlyn Cioni put a stop to the run with a kill, which would lead to her and Bernadoni trading kills for the next four points.

The Lady Panthers got a big kill from Olivia Lamis before Hall extended the lead to 18-15 on a stuff block by Zoe Morris. That’s when Morris, a junior, stepped up to serve an improbable seven-point run to close the contest.

Morris had help on the run serve with another laser kill from Bernadoni before Morris served an ace. Then it was Maddie Hannon’s turn to get into the act with a kill of her own. That was followed by a spike from Gia Pozzi that found the mark before Pozzi floated a ball into no man’s land. Hannon closed the door with a block to end Game 1 with a final score of 25-15.

Game 2 saw a similar beginning as the teams exchanged kills early with Bernadoni and PC’s McKenna Solomon. Again, PC got the first run when Avery Lamis took her turn in the service box.

Morgan Hundley recorded a kill, and Lamis served an ace to put the Lady Panthers up by a 5-2 margin.

The teams would again exchange points until PC inched a bit further way on a Sophia Harris kill to take a 9-5 advantage. The Lady Panthers continued to build on their lead when Solomon recorded a block and Hundley followed with another kill to build the lead to 13-8.

Hall quickly retaliated as Morris reeled off three points and closed the gap to 13-11. The teams would fight for the next few points before Bernadoni got it cranked up again. Hitting from her preferred left side, the senior hammered home a pair of kills and tied the contest at 15-15.

“Meghan can dominate a game when she hits for the lines,” Salazar said. “Gia can as well. We have been working with them for three years to hit for the lines, and that’s what you need to do against bigger girls.”

Putnam County fired back first by earning a tough sideout and then getting a kill from Cioni to take back the lead, 18-16.

Hall answered with a floater from Mia Mautino and then a three-point run on Mautino’s serve highlighted by three big kills — one each by Hayleigh Brokaw, Pozzi and Morris — to spot the home team to a 21-19 advantage.

After a Hundley kill brought PC to within one at 21-20, the Lady Red Devils reeled off the final four points on the strength of Hultz’s serving to finish the game and the match with an ace.

“We struggled with hitting errors at the end, and they were very scrappy tonight,” PC coach Amy Bell said. “We picked up a lot of things. I thought we ran a good offense. There were a lot of good rallies tonight, and we played hard. This is the kind of game that improves you, and we are getting better every night.

“At the end of October, that’s when I want them peaking.”

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