Khee Nance led Dunkirk (1-5, 4-5) to its first CCAA Division 1 girls' volleyball win of coach Kim Delgado's career in a five-set thriller with rival Fredonia (1-5, 2-7), Friday at Dunkirk High School.
Nance finished with 23 kills, two aces and five blocks as the Lady Marauders came out on top, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 26-28, 25-19.
"It's very exciting," Delgado said. "It was a great victory. Of course it's even more exciting because it's Fredonia and they're such a big rival in every sport."
Early in the first game, Fredonia had no trouble with Dunkirk and built an 8-1 lead behind some pretty plays from Emily Ludwig and Makenzie Tarnowski.
Ludwig finished with 10 kills and three blocks while Tarnowski tallied eight kills and a pair of blocks.
"I thought my two middles played great," Fredonia coach Chris Anderson said of Ludwig and Tarnowski. "They do so many good things, especially for being so young. They're in for a good, long career at Fredonia."
Dunkirk battled back with a 10-2 run to take a momentary lead, but the Lady Hillbillies rallied to take the first game with Tarnowski providing a highlight-reel block along the way.
The Lady Marauders were able to flip the script in the second game with Lacey Clark garnering praise from Delgado.
"I don't know if there's as good a setter in the league," she said of Clark, who finished with 45 assists, two aces and two blocks. "She can set it any way so that other players can get a kill. She and Khee (Nance) made a big difference tonight."
Though Dunkirk was able to win the second game, it was far from a sure thing as Fredonia had rallied to tie the score, 22-22, before the Lady Marauders ran off three straight points.
Fredonia bounced back and took an early 6-3 lead in the third game, but Nance led a ferocious Lady Marauder charge that turned the deficit into a 17-11 lead. Dunkirk received six straight service points from Alexis Clark during the run.
Alexis Clark and Nance combined to record kills on Dunkirk's final five points as the Lady Marauders closed out the win to take a 2-1 series lead.
The fourth game was one for the ages.
The two teams were tied 14 times and neither team ever held more than a two-point lead.
Dunkirk held a 24-22 lead but couldn't close it out and then Fredonia grabbed a 25-24 lead but couldn't nail down the final point.
The Lady Hillbillies finally prevailed when Dunkirk hit one out of bounds.
"We won a really nice set in game four," Anderson added. "After that we couldn't get anything together."
In the decisive fifth game, Fredonia stormed out to a 10-5 lead capped by an ace from Alyssa Crespo.
"Usually at that point, they'll start staring at the scoreboard," Delgado said of her team. "They'll start playing conservatively. Today they didn't do that."
Behind the serving of Sarah Hanlon and the spikes of Nance, the Lady Marauders refused to lose. Hanlon hit on back-to-back aces and Nance had six kills - including the game-winner - as Dunkirk came back for the win.
"She's phenomenal," Delgado added of Nance. "She's a smart player and she's gotten way smarter this year. She can hit it very hard, but she doesn't always so they don't know what to expect. She's a very strong player."
"She's good," Anderson agreed. "She's got the ability to do a lot of good things. She hits corners like I haven't seen a lot of hitters hit corners."
Dunkirk will travel to play a non-league contest against Brocton on Tuesday while Fredonia travels to Gowanda for another Division 1 game, Wednesday.
NOTES: Maddy Crandall recorded 24 assists and two aces for the Lady Hillbillies ... Hanlon finished with four aces and seven kills while Lashonda Moreland added two aces, four kills and three blocks for Dunkirk.
Gowanda 25 25 25
Southwestern 14 13 21
GOWANDA - Jenn Stebbins' 15 kills and nine digs led the Gowanda Lady Panthers (4-2, 4-3) past the Southwestern Trojans (3-2, 6-2), 25-14, 25-13, 25-21, Friday in CCAA Division 1 girls' high school volleyball.
Lexi Farner added three kills, seven digs, seven blocks while C.J. Sawatis finished with 19 assists, two kills and nine digs.
The Lady Trojans' Jacki Gullotti had six kills and seven digs and Sally Rudny finished with five kills and three aces.