Niskayuna netters aim for Class AA repeat

Repeating as the Section II, Class AA champion may be tougher for the Niskayuna girls volleyball team than winning last year's title.

The Silver Warriors are still one of the top teams in the Suburban Council this year, entering Wednesday's regular season finale against Shenendehowa with an 11-4 record following a 3-1 loss to Ballston Spa Tuesday. Niskayuna, Shen and Ballston Spa are all tied for second place in the North Division with 11-4 records, with only Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake ahead of them at 15-0.

On the whole, we've done awesome, said Niskayuna coach Shana Keith. "We're hopeful to be as successful as last year."

The Silver Warriors have used a combination of seniors and younger players to get to this level again. Their front line of outside hitters Cristina Vazzana and Lexey Radcliff and middle hitter Sara Moore give them a strong veteran presence, while setters Rachel Meachem (freshman) and Michelle Sotile (junior) give them a base to build on for next year.

"It's a good combination of people," said Keith. "Our setters do a very good job of making sure they're using their entire front row (for points)."

After facing Shen Wednesday, Niskayuna will get its seeding for the Class AA Sectionals. After that, anything goes in what should be a competitive tournament.

"It's very difficult (to repeat) because the (Suburban) Council is very competitive. We have a lot of teams who want to win the title," said Keith. ""

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