Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake women’s volleyball coach Bynon reaches 800 career wins

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BURNT HILLS — Serve, block, hit, win — welcome to the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake women’s volleyball program with head coach Gary Bynon for the past 34 years.

With the Spartans winning 25-19, 25-13 at the Burnt Hills Cider Challenge Tournament on Saturday afternoon, Bynon earned his 800th career victory as a coach.

“It happened to me because of 34 years of amazing kids,” Bynon said. “It’s not about me.”

Bynon entered the weekend with 798 career coaching wins. He secured No. 799 when his Spartans beat Galway 25-15, 25-13 in Saturday’s semi-final. Then the only thing stopping a celebration of 800 home wins was Cornwall.

“A very well-drilled Cornwall team came close to us in Game 1 – 13-13, 13-14,” Bynon said. “We took a long time to pull ourselves together.

His Burnt Hills side delivered, pulling away for the opening set win, before heading to the Cider Challenge title and historic Bynon win. Regular stars such as Danielle DeBonis, Carly Rzeszotarski and Callie Chevalier played at a high level, but Bynon praised sophomore Leah Scalise who made her first start of the season in Saturday’s action.

“We had a few injuries during the week, but another sophomore stepped in and helped us out,” Bynon said. “That’s what this team is – 15 kids who truly believe in each other.”

Bynon is atop Section II with 800 wins, a total that ranks him No. 4 all-time in New York. The state’s all-time leader is Stephen Pierce of Eden with 991 wins.

To earn victory #801, the Bynon Spartans will need to win on the road. Burnt Hills’ annual showdown against fellow Division II side Shenendehowa takes place Monday at Clifton Park to close out the Suburban Council season.

“Two great teams that each had a great year,” Bynon said of the game against Shenendehowa. “It will be good for both of us as we prepare for the trials.”

In Saturday’s action, Burnt Hills received 46 kills and 15 digs from Chevalier, 41 kills and 15 digs from Rzeszotarski, 104 assists from DeBonis and 32 digs from Kiera Hartpence.

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