AMHERST — The first set of the night set the tone.
In the Class B volleyball championship game on Monday evening, No. 8 Starpoint jumped out to a 14-2 lead over No. 2 Albion. Despite being seeded lower, the Lady Spartans looked the part of a winner from the get-go, controlling the ball and not allowing coach Ann Capacci’s Albion squad any easy points.
The end result was a straight-set victory for Starpoint in the Class B girls volleyball championship game at Sweet Home HS on Monday. Starpoint advances to sub-regional play this evening, while Albion’s season concludes.
“We came out hesitant and kind of intimidated,” Capacci remarked after the match. “Starpoint initiated the attack. We’re a young team, and some of the early jitters might have got the best of us.”
Capacci said she doesn’t like to take much stock in the rankings, and Starpoint proved it by cruising to a 25-15 victory in the first set, quickly putting the Lady Purple Eagles on their heels. The pro-Starpoint crowd had plenty of energy, with a student section taking hold in the lower portion of the Spartans side, and the team seemed to feed off it. Even a fan in the Albion section was heard remarking, “These Starpoint fans are awesome,” while another added, “I think it’s their fans that are making them amazing.”
Starpoint got off to a similar strong start in the second set, taking a 5-0 lead and extending it to 21-13. At that point, the Lady Purple Eagles got into their best groove of the evening, scoring on eight consecutive points to draw even at 21-21.
With Chanyce Powell serving, Albion forced Starpoint into a number of mis-hit returns that either hit the net or sailed wide. Starpoint had to take a timeout at 21-19, with Capacci high-fiving her players as they jogged back to the bench.