Amanda Begin has a simple serve, but it's not so simple to return it.
Just ask the Massena girls volleyball team.
Begin had 13 aces 11 in the first game alone to lead the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Spartans to a 3-0 victory over Massena in last Saturday's class A regional final at Queensbury High School.
BH-BL coach Gary Bynon likened Begin's serve to a cement block ("It goes over, and then it just drops," he said), and Massena certainly had trouble dealing with it. When the Red Raiders tried to return service during the opening game, they'd either just miss the ball or hit it wildly. By the time Massena got a side out to end Begin's service, BH-BL had turned a 1-0 lead into a 19-0 lead on its way to a 25-8 victory.
"Amanda's been to 14 (consecutive service points) to start a game three times this year, and we had a feeling she'd go over 14 today," said Bynon.
Massena (18-2) got more competitive as the match went on, but BH-BL was too tough for the Red Raiders to handle. The Spartans took the second game 25-17 and the third game 25-15 to advance to this weekend's state tournament at Glens Falls Civic Center.
"For them to go back to the state final four again is great," said Bynon, whose Spartans are looking for consecutive state class A titles.
Erin Little contributed 10 kills, and Becca Ormsby added 12 assists for BH-BL, which starts pool play Friday morning.
Bees sting Scotties
Ballston Spa's season ended in the class AA regionals with a 3-0 loss to Section III champion Baldwinsville.
The Scotties, who won the Section II title with a 3-1 victory over Colonie last Tuesday, never got into a comfortable rhythm against a Baldwinsville team determined not to let the match be as close as the five-set marathon it endured to win the Section III championship.