The Burnt Hills girls volleyball team captured the state Class A championship on Sunday beating Our Lady of Mercy (Rochester), 3-1, at the Glens Falls Civic Center.The Spartans won, 25-21, 25-23, 19-25 and 25-18 to claim their first state title since 2005.


"To play such a great team like Our Lady of Mercy and play as well as we did, I'm hard-pressed to find a defense that played like that. Our kids were just amazing the way they kept coming, they kept answering, people off the bench came in and gave us points. I'm just so proud of this group. That's the kind of defense people will talk about for a long time," said Burnt Hills head coach Gary Bynon.


Ironically, the teams met on Saturday and Burnt Hills won twice.

"From the day we started this two-day experience in Glens Falls, these seniors have been just unbelievable. They've stayed focused with our group. Years of playing here and years of playing volleyball, all came together this weekend and I couldn't be happier. You have a fantastic team like Our Lady of Mercy. They are so well-coached. We were up 2-0 and they came back in game three. They were never out of it. We're just battling and battling. We're just so happy we can be so successful against them. I just can't believe the defense our group played today. Defense wins championships," said Bynon.

Kaitlyn Valade, who had 15 kills, earned the tournament's most valuable player award.

"I can't imagine being part of another team. I love my team. Yesterday (Saturday) was a big confidence booster. I think we still knew that. Mercy is a great team and they're not going to give up. Coming into today, we knew that, and knew that we still had to come in with a whole bunch of intensity to show them we were ready to take this game. I'm speechless. It's the best time I've ever had in my volleyball career. It's incredible, incredible," she said.

Siena Wilder put together 28 digs and two aces for the Spartans.

Ziskin, a five-year member of the Spartans, turned in another stellar performance with 37 assists

"We worked hard and put in so many hours in this sport. We play all-year round. We do so much to try and get better and improve every chance we get," she said.

Lizzy Morton has been playing for the Spartans four years and obviously couldn't be happier with the state title.

"I'm just so happy. We worked really hard out there. The third game we lost focus a little bit and they were a good team. I'm so happy right now," she said.

Article by Mike Collar


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