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Morgan Burchhardt

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

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Carlie Rzeszotarski

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2022
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Written by Jim Schiltz, The Daily Gazette

When Carlie Rzeszotarski was brought up to the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake varsity girls’ volleyball team as an eighth-grader late in the 2017 season, Spartans coach Gary Bynon was certain that her natural talents combined with diligence and commitment would lead to grand accomplishments.

He was correct.

“As a volleyball player, she is arguably the most decorated player that the Capital Region has seen,” Bynon said.

Rzeszotarski excelled as a volleyball hitter, defender and distributor for the Spartans, but also did so much more in her high school days as an athlete, student leader and youth sports advocate.

“In my 34 years in education I have not had many players like Carlie,” Bynon said of the Colgate commit, who graduated with a career classroom GPA of 4.0 and with two state volleyball championships. “She does great things in the school community and academically, she is an outstanding athlete in two sports, and most of all she is a role model for the future women athletes of our sports. One of the greatest things that you can do as a female athlete is having young athletes want to follow in your footsteps.”

Rzeszotarski was herself one of those young followers.
“Since I made the varsity at such a young age, there were a lot of girls I looked up to, and now I realize how much of an impact they had on me,” said Rzeszotarski, who was a sixth-grade team manager for Burnt Hills’ 2015 state title team before starring in the program’s next two title runs. “‘I’m in that position now and it means so much to set that good example. It’s something we emphasize here.”

Burnt Hills volleyball is synonymous with championships, too, and Rzeszotarski was named the state volleyball tournament Class A MVP as a sophomore and again as a senior after leading Burnt Hills to its seventh and eighth NYSPHSAA titles.
“Looking back, I had a perfect senior year,” said the 18-year-old, who as a 12-th-grader was named a MaxPreps first-team All-American. “We had a great basketball season and volleyball had the perfect ending.”

When there were no state competitions her junior year due to COVID restrictions, Rzeszotarski anchored a Spartans squad that capped a 20-0 Fall 2 campaign with the Suburban Council tournament championship. Afterward her numerous accolades included Gatorade New York Player of the Year.

“Carlie is the type of athlete that all coaches try to build a team around,” Burnt Hills athletic director Joe Scalise said of the four-time New York Volleyball Coaches Association Section II Player of the Year and three-time Suburban Council MVP. “A hard working, dedicated, driven, team-first type of person.”

“It’s all about the final outcome, and to get there you need that connection with everyone out there,” said Rzeszotarski, who is one of 10 high school honorees for the third-annual Capital District Sports Women of the Year awards. “I try to help my team get to 25. I don’t care if I get the big kill. I don’t care about personal stats as much as winning. I’ll remember the state championship game and not how many kills I had.”
An outside hitter and middle blocker, Rzeszotarski became Burnt Hills career leader in kills during her senior season (1,683) when she was tabbed a first-team All-American, an All-Region 1 selection and a second-team Best and Brightest pick by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

The 6-foot-1 Rzeszotarski was also difference-maker on the basketball court this past winter with her scoring, rebounding and defending in the Spartans’ drive to the Section II Class A title game.

“I hadn’t touched a ball in a year,” said Rzeszotarski, who did not play basketball as a junior when the season overlapped with the Fall 2 volleyball campaign. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to play. I didn’t expect us to have such a great season.”

Rzeszotarski has shared her sports knowledge as a coach with Junior Diggers Volleyball, at the Spike Mountain and Skidmore volleyball camps, and with Spartan Junior Basketball. Her background also includes camp counselor at Vacation Bible School and a teacher’s helper at Stevens Elementary School.

“She has a great rapport with the young players and they love working with her,” Bynon said.

Earlier in her athletic career, she was named MVP of the BH-BL modified and JV softball teams.

“Carlie is the type of athlete that excels in whatever she puts her mind to,” Scalise said.

Rzeszotarski’s busy senior year included working on the BH-BL yearbook and serving as president of the Math Club in which she has been a member throughout high school. Rzeszotarski academic participation list also includes National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Science Honor Society, Suburban Council Leadership Summit, BH-BL Student Government Leadership Day and Fall Sports Leadership Team.

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