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Hamburg Finds Focus, Defeats Starpoint

For the Hamburg High School girls volleyball team, it was all about finding the focus.

The Bulldogs shook off a slow start and righted the ship, rebounding for a 20-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-12 win on the road against ECIC II rival Starpoint on Tuesday evening.

“We weren’t focused and ultimately we realized we made a lot of errors,” Hamburg coach John Crangle said. “Once we got our focus back, the girls passed well, served well, hit well and that’s a pretty good combination.”

After the opening set loss, the Bulldogs bounced back nicely. The feisty Spartans put up a fight but Hamburg flexed its collective muscle and took control of the match.

“We talked about being a unit because that’s what volleyball is all about,” Bulldogs senior Emma Moscato said. “You’re one team and not six individuals on the court. We came together and realized it was mostly our mistakes that first game and then after that, yeah …”

Not too shabby for a team that lost five key seniors from last year’s team and frequently has a freshman and three sophomores on the court ,

I’m very happy with the way we’re playing,” Crangle said. “We’re a young team but that’s not an excuse for bad volleyball. We’re counting on the juniors and seniors to show them the right way to do things and I’m very happy with the way we’re progressing.”

Moscato led Hamburg with nine kills and junior Georgia Farry added eight kills. Those two serve as tri-captains along with junior Dana Bacher. Despite the young roster, the Bulldogs like the way things are going

“I was a little nerbous coming in because we are a very young team,” Moscato said. “But we’re very close and we’re playing well. I think our chances look really good. All of the teams we’ll see are very close (in talent) to us, So if we’re on our game, I see a sectional champonship in our future.”

Meanwhile, it proved to be another learning experience for Starpoint. Katie Putney had 11 kills and Emily Reed added 10 kills. Gabriella Keller contributed six kills for the Spartans.

“Right now for us it is playing together as a family,” Starpoint coach Korey Graham said. “Coming out hot against Hamburg, we’d never done that before. I was proud of the girls for that. But it’s about mental toughness. As soon as we get mentally weak, we start arguing and things start to go down hill. We stop moving our feet, we stop talking and that’s when we run into trouble.

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