This could be the watershed year for Maine high school volleyball, that’s what so many coaches said at the start of the season.

But only today’s games will really indicate if that’s true.

When No. 1 Greely meets No. 3 Scarborough in the Class A final at 5 p.m., the Red Storm’s chance to hang the first volleyball banner in their gym will be on the line.

And when No. 3 Yarmouth meets No. 1 Bucksport in Ellsworth at noon, the same will be true of the Clippers.

While Yarmouth Coach Jim Senecal is talking about big dreams, bold hopes and those rare times you give kids complete ownership of a goal, the question in Class A is whether Scarborough can slow Greely’s dominant run, The Rangers won seven consecutive championships before hitting a road block for the first time last year when Biddeford won the Class A title, and now Scarborough hopes to follow Biddeford’s example.

“Those kids are highly motivated. We expect that. We expect Scarborough to come out and play the game of their lives against us,” said Greely Coach Kelvin Hasch. “We’ve got to come out and play three sets, or it could be five sets.”

Hasch started Greely volleyball’s club team 11 years ago. Since going varsity nine years ago, the Rangers have dominated Class A.

“I think it’s anyone’s game with the way the teams have come up to our playing ability,” Hasch said.

“If (our players) work to the standard we set out, this team has a lot of talent, and it’s a very close team. That makes a huge difference on the court. But Scarborough could beat us. If they play exceptionally well and we have an off night, we are beatable.”

Scarborough has lost to Greely twice this season, but that might make it harder for the Rangers to top the Red Storm again.

“I know they played Greely tougher than anyone all year. Kelvin has to beat a really good team three times, and as a coach who has coached in other sports, I know that is not the easiest thing to do,” said Senecal, who is also the Yarmouth softball coach. “It will be a great match. I wish I could see it, but I’m glad I can’t.”

Indeed.

When Yarmouth moved from Class A to Class B this year, Senecal knew a state title was within reach, and he let his players know it.

“I told the kids at the start of the season, their sport is the only one that doesn’t have a banner in the Yarmouth High School gym, to look up and sort of think about that for a minute, what it might mean to them later in their lives,” Senecal said.

Bucksport has gone undefeated against Class B opponents and will have the fan base just a few towns over in the Ellsworth gym, while Yarmouth will be traveling 21/2 hours to its first state title game.

But Senecal said the Clippers have been preparing all season for this moment, and they’re ready.

“Calais plays a similar style of play, their defensive scheme is the same. The fact we had to go up to Calais and had to play that (semifinal match), going in front of their home crowd might have helped our kids,” Senecal said. “It was an experience for them to rise above that, and support each other. They did a nice job.”

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: FlemingPph