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Blue Devils Sweep Bulldogs

There is nothing quite like getting the better of your rival, and that’s exactly what the Lady Blue Devils did.

Alyssa Battaglia had 13 digs and Samantha Veronica added 26 assists as Kenmore West swept Kenmore East in three straight games in their Niagara Frontier League match up that was played at Ken-East on Tuesday night.

Winning by scores of 25-12, 25-18 and 25-11 the Blue Devils improved to 6-1 overall and 5-1 in league play.

“It’s awesome. I love the crowd. I love playing in front of the crowd,” said West outside hitter Alyssa Battaglia.

“It’s really great beating East, our rivals, especially senior year.”

Showing marked improvement under second-year coach Megan Crawford the Bulldogs looked as if they were primed to give the Blue Devils a long night as they jumped to a quick 5-1 lead in the opening set.

But the combination of consecutive strong serves from Allie Chimera and strong play from setter Samantha Veronica helped the Blue Devils gain control. A thundering kill by Abby Borkowski, off a set from Samantha Veronica, tied the game at 6-6 and effectively turned the tide in Ken-West’s favor.

“I’m pretty confident that at any point in a game we can have a server go back and rattle off a bunch of points in a row, and that’s what happened with Allie,” said Ken-West coach Kelly Strong.

“She’s got a strong arm and I feel confident with her serving. We stayed calm on our side and we played under control. Had great ball control. So I was pretty confident with how the girls were playing. We just needed to clean up our offensive errors.”

Ken-East, who received another strong game from senior libero Anna Taylor, kept it close in set two, but they could not put it together the rest of the night and went quietly in the third.

For the Lady Bulldogs, who now stand at 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the NFL, it’s about staying mentally strong and not letting this loss undo the positives steps forward they have taken so far this season.

“We can’t get down on ourselves,” said junior Brooke O’Connor. “We have to move on from it and get the next game.”

The Blue Devils will travel to Niagara-Wheatfield on Thursday for a game that will have a huge impact on the standings. The first regular season meeting between the two teams, the Lady Falcons topped the Blue Devils in two sets when they met in the title game of the Sweet Home Tournament on Sept.14.

Ken-West certainly isn’t taking the Falcons lightly, but they definitely want to even the score.

“We’re gonna be ready to go on Thursday,” said Battaglia. “I’m really excited.”

Borkowski had 14 kills and 15 digs while Kiana Marshall had five kills for the Blue Devils.

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