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Pavilion Lady Gophers

November 21, 2021 - 8:16am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Pavilion Lady Gophers, NYSPHSAA girls volleyball.
Update: Victor and Mount Academy captured state titles with both teams winning in four sets.


Pavilion won two of six sets in the three-match, round robin New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls volleyball Class D championships Saturday, but it wasn't enough to advance the Lady Gophers to today's finals at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.

Coach Rex Eighmey's squad, which entered the state tournament with a 25-0 record -- without losing a set all season -- opened by splitting with Candor (Tioga County), 25-14, 23-25, and went on to split with Galway (Saratoga County), 25-20, 24-26, and lose to Mount Academy (Ulster County), 17-25, 14-25.

"We’re very proud of the girls," Eighmey said this morning by telephone from Glens Falls. "They left it all on the court. They didn’t give up."

The team's 2-4 record placed it behind Mount Academy's 6-0 and Galway's 3-3. Galway edged Candor 26-24 in its final set to claim the second spot.

Galway will take on Mount Academy at 2 p.m. this afternoon for the title.

Candor finished in fourth place at 1-5.

Eighmey said Pavilion, Candor and Galway were "pretty evenly matched" while Mount Academy was a cut above, calling it a "tremendous team with great hitters all around."

"They're definitely built to win, but we battled them," he said.

During the regular season and through the Section V Tournament and Far West Regionals, Pavilion was able to pull out the close matches. On Saturday, it dropped a couple -- one to Candor and one to Galway.

"We just weren't able to finish, but that's how it goes sometimes," he said.

Individually, junior middle hitter Lauren Kingsley was named to the All-Tournament team by compiling 13 kills and five blocks in the six sets.

Other leaders for Pavilion were Karlee Zinkievich, 13 kills and 13 digs; Paige Landers, 14 digs; Shea Amberger, six kills; Adeline Milligan, 10 kills and 12 digs, and Shannon Campbell, 26 assists and nine digs.

All told, prior to Saturday, the Lady Cougars won 38 consecutive matches in straight sets if you count the spring 2021 season.

Eighmey said he appreciated all of the community support, noting that his team had more fans in Glens Falls than the other participants.

“We have lots of people here. And then last night, we reserved a pizza shop and there were all kinds of people there as well," he said.

In Class C, Portville, the Section VI school that eliminated Le Roy in the Far West Regionals, posted a 6-0 mark and will face Millbrook (Dutchess County) at 2 p.m. today for the crown.

In Class AA, Victor, the only other Section V school in the state finals, went 6-0 and will go against Massapequa (Nassau County, L.I.) at 10 this morning.


The Pavilion Lady Gophers, pictured here with the Section V Class D2 trophy, put together a spectacular season -- winning all of its regular season matches before placing third at the NYSPHSAA championships in Glens Falls. Front from left, Shannon Campbell, Sara Logsdon, Paige Landers, Abby Lemley, Lily Macaluso, Karlee Zinkievich; back, Assistant Coach Rebecca Zinkievich, Jayvee Coach Betty Worthington, Shea Amberger, Lauren Kingsley, Adeline Milligan, Sara Laurie, Samantha Sikora, Coach Rex Eighmey.

November 11, 2021 - 9:36pm


Going into this evening’s Section V girls volleyball Class D championship match, Pavilion’s Lauren Kingsley, a 6-foot-1 junior middle hitter, knew that it was up to her to counteract Fillmore’s star player Emma Cole, a 6-foor-1 senior middle hitter.

Kingsley came through with flying colors – recording 12 kills (scoring hits) and a couple of blocks at the net – to lead the undefeated Lady Gophers to a 25-12, 25-18, 25-14 victory over the Lady Eagles before a large contingent of fans at Caledonia-Mumford High School.

She said her team understood the challenge presented by Cole, who dominated the opening match of the overall Class D playoffs on Tuesday against Alexander.

“They have a big blocker,” she said, speaking of Cole, "and we knew that we were going to have to get those (kills) around her.”

Cole had her moments, recording 12 kills at the net and four service aces, but many of her forceful returns were handled by the Lady Gophers' experienced lineup led by Kingsley, junior outside hitter Karlee Zinkievich (four kills and six aces), senior outside hitter Adeline Milligan (four kills), senior setter Shannon Campbell (18 assists), senior middle hitter Shea Amberger and junior middle hitter Paige Landers.

In the first set, Fillmore, 13-7, pulled to within 10-8 before Pavilion went on a nine-point run, sparked by Kingsley’s four kills and Zinkievich’s serving.

In the second set, Landers served six straight points, with Kingsley posting three kills and a block, to give Pavilion a 12-6 advantage. Fillmore battled back, however, behind the serving of senior Jadyn Mucher to pull within four at 20-16 but could get no closer.

In the third set, the Lady Eagles jumped out to a 10-4 lead with Cole serving, forcing Pavilion to call a timeout. After talking it over, the Lady Gophers were able to break Cole’s serve and then scored six straight points to tie things up.

From there, Kingsley and Zinkievich took over at the net to support the serves of Landers and Sara Laurie as Pavilion won going away.

The victory extends Pavilion’s record to 24-0 -- all in straight sets -- but more importantly, moves the Lady Gophers into the Far West Regionals on Saturday at Le Roy High School. Coach Rex Eighmey’s team will take on Section VI representative Chautauqua Lake, 17-0, at 4:30 p.m.

Eighmey credited Kingsley and Zinkievich for their inspired play.

“Lauren just pounded the ball. She’s a great player and when we get the ball to her, she can put it down,” he said. “And Karlee really comes through in the tough situations.”

He also gave Fillmore its due, mentioning that Cole and her teammates “did a lot of digging and made it tough for us.”

Eighmey said he expects Saturday’s match against Chautauqua Lake to be even more difficult after watching videotape of the Lady Thunderbirds.

“They’re going to be tough,” he said. “They’re very athletic. We’re going to have to be at our best to beat them, but I’m confident that our team can do that. We’re in the state tournament now and we’re definitely looking forward to it.”

When asked about being the favorite in all these matches, Eighmey called it “a good feeling.”

“It’s a little bit different. I like to play under the radar, but we are the hunted this year and we’ve been able to take care of things. It feels great.”

Fillmore Coach Lacie Fuller said she believes Pavilion, the Section V Class D1 champion, has a very good chance to keep advancing as it moves onto the state tournament.

“I think they’ll do a fabulous job. They’re very consistent and they just keep moving,” she said.

She also said she was proud of her team that “made history in Fillmore by winning the school’s first sectional (Class D3) title since 1988.”

“They worked as hard as they could. We went up against a good team, but we’re the last one standing before the states,” she added.

Junior setter Zoe Hubbard tallied 14 assists for the Lady Eagles.

Top photo: Karlee Zinkievich makes her presence felt.

Photos by Jim Burns.


Lauren Kingsley attempting a "kill" as Shea Amberger (8) looks on.


Adeline Milligan sets one up.


The young fan's sign says it all.


Shea Amberger with the block.


The Pavilion fans filled one side of the gym.


Fillmore girls attempting to get the ball past Pavilion's defense.


The Lady Gophers celebrate their 24th straight victory.

Photos by Jim Burns.

For more photos please go to   https://jimburns.org/p196701385

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