WNY Athletics

Williamsville South Girls Volleyball Starts Strong in Class A Sectionals

The Williamsville South High School girls volleyball team got off to a hot start to the postseason, winning their first set of the postseason by 20 points. The Billies hope that’s the sign of things to come.

Visiting North Tonawanda proved to be a competitive foe from there but the fifth-seeded Billies still swept their way to a 25-5, 25-19, 25-14 win over the 12th-seeded Lumberjacks in a Class A Section VI first-round match on Tuesday evening.

“The girls were fired up for our first playoff match,” South coach Tom Sproull said. “We came out locked on all levels. Lots of energy. We didn’t make a whole lot of unforced errors in that first set.”

With the win, the Billies will travel to perennial contender Hamburg for a quarterfinal match on Friday. The No. 4-seeded Bulldogs swept 13-seed Lake Shore in another prequarterfinal contest. Williamsville South played Hamburg twice in ECIC II action and split those contests with each team winning in four sets on its home court.

“It’ll be a challenge,” South junior Gabrielle Presutti said. “But if we come out and play we think we can play, we’ll be OK.”

Amari DeBerry and Megan Muehlbauer had 10 kills for the Billies in the win over North Tonawanda. But as it’s been all season long for Williamsville South, there was no single superstar.

“As a unit, they’ve all been playing well,” Sproull said. “Our serve receive unit of Meg (Muelhbauer) and Maddie (Popielski) and Gabbie have given us more free option passes. Amare (DeBerry) has been strong in the middle … our outsides and right sides are playing well. We’ve been getting everybody involved. That’s going to be our key going forward, keeping the other team guessing as to what’s coming.

“Overall I’m pleased but I think there’s another level we can get to,” he added. “Obviously we’ll find out when we go to Hamburg on Friday.”

The win moved the Billies to 11-8 overall but that includes an 8-3 mark against ECIC II foes.  Williamsville South also got better with some tough non-league battles against Class AA contenders Lancaster and Orchard Park.

And that has the Billies confident heading into a tough Class A bracket.

“There’s still a little room for improvement but we’re definitely in a good spot,” senior co-captain Grace Stahl said. “We just need to keep playing hard and working well together.”

NT finished the season at 6-10.

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