SARANAC LAKE - A fast start, a bump in the road and a strong finish.
Playing at home Wednesday, Saranac Lake's volleyball team grabbed a 2-0 edge in games, saw visiting Peru win the next two, and then secured the victory with strong serves in the fifth and deciding game to claim a 3-2 triumph over the Indians.
With the win, the Red Storm improved to 4-8 in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference and have already notched one more victory than they did during the entire 2011 regular season.
Saranac Lake senior Emily Fountain sets the ball in front of teammate Ellen Miner during Wednesday’s home match against Peru.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Saranac Lake senior Shannon Stevens leaps to return a shot in front of Peru’s Brooke Wyand during Wednesday’s match at Saranac Lake High School.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Saranac Lake won by scores of 25-17, 25-6, 22-25, 25-19 and 25-22. The victory also gave the Red Storm a two-match sweep of Peru this season.
"My girls were ready to play today," Saranac Lake coach Diana Schwartz said. "They were really pumped for this match. My girls started out on fire. Peru got back in it when they started doing a better job serving, but in the end, our girls wanted the win. They went out and got it in that fifth game. Any time we can go out and beat a bigger school, that's a big win for us."
Senior Emily Fountain had a huge match in leading the Red Storm in three categories. She served up 23 points and 13 aces and was Saranac Lake's top setter with nine assists. She also had five kills and one dig.
Senior Shannon Stevens also had a solid outing for the Red Storm with 13 points, seven aces, four digs and four kills. Stevens played a big role in the rubber-game as she helped the Red Storm erase early 2-0 and 5-3 deficits with some strong serving.
"We've come a long way from last year," Stevens said. "We've gotten so much better. Passing, passing, passing and hitting - it's been big for us this season. Mentally, when we are having fun, when we play happy, that's when we are at our best."
Nicole Viscardo, another senior in the lineup, turned in a solid all-around effort for the winners, which included eight points and five kills. Kylie Sapone chipped in with seven points and eight assists, and Sam Martin had six points and led the Red Storm with five digs.
Brooke Wyand, Rebecca Tenbuuren and Brittany Kelso combined for 24 points and 11 aces for Peru, which fell to 3-7 in CVAC play. Lea Perry was Peru's top setter, finishing with 18 assists.
"I think Saranac Lake's serving won it for them," Peru coach Mary Anne Lake said. "Our serving killed us. We got our bumps up to the setters, we hit well, we just missed too many serves. The good thing is we never quit. Our girls battled to the end."
Saranac Lake has now posted two wins in its last three outings, with those victories coming against Class B teams, including a 3-0 sweep of Saranac Central. The Red Storm have an opportunity for another win when they travel Friday to play Northeastern Clinton, a team with a 2-7 record.
"Right now, our girls are playing pretty well," Schwartz said. "We have a team of good athletes who like to compete. We've had a nice little run lately, and hopefully we can keep it going."
Saranac Lake 3, Peru 2
25-17, 25-6, 22-25, 25-19, 25-22
Brittany Kelso 3 aces, 7 points, 5 digs, 4 kills; Brooke Wyand 4 aces, 9 points, 2 blocks, 4 digs, 3 kills; Rebecca Tenbuuren 4 aces, 8 points, 1 dig, 4 kills; Linzee Wright 2 aces, 3 points, 6 digs, 1 kill; Karley Goddeau-Stefaniak 2 points, 2 digs, 2 kills; Lea Perry 1 ace, 1 point, 18 assists, 1 block, 6 digs; Anna Sardella 3 aces, 3 points, 1 dig; Alexis McKee 1 point, 4 digs, 1 kill; Maddie Kaplan 1 ace, 5 points, 7 digs, 4 kills.
Emily Fountain 13 aces, 23 points, 9 assists, 1 dig, 5 kills; Megan Kilroy 2 aces, 3 points, 1 dig; Sam Martin 2 aces, 6 points, 5 digs; Ellen Miner 1 dig, 5 kills; Crystal Plowe-Sovey 1 dig; Kylie Sapone 4 aces, 7 points, 8 assists; Shannon Stevens 7 aces, 13 points, 4 digs, 4 kills; Nicole Viscardo 1 ace, 8 points, 2 blocks, 3 digs, 5 kills; Brittany Woodruff 3 points.