SCARBOROUGH — The Scarborough volleyball team is heading to its second state final after topping Greely 3-1 in a Class A semifinal Wednesday night.
After taking the first set 25-20, the top-ranked Red Storm (16-0) struggled in the second while committing a series of errors before falling, 25-10.
But they rallied in the third set, when both teams struggled with serves, and came up with a 34-32 win before taking the fourth, 25-22.
Scarborough will meet second-seeded Falmouth (14-2) in the state final at 10 a.m. Saturday at Windham High.
Big hits and clutch plays by Mary Cleary of Scarborough helped in the last two sets when both teams committed errors.
Scarborough Coach Jon Roberts said a potential trip to the final and the fact his team was unbeaten added pressure against a perennial power that Scarborough beat twice this year. The Red Storm topped the Rangers 3-1 and 3-0 in the regular season.
“I just told them to reset and focus,” said Roberts. “Obviously we want Mary to touch the ball as much as possible. But in that last set, Abby Mills came up big. Everything she touched she was hitting down.”
With the score 1-1, the third set was a back-and-forth drama; the score was tied 21 times. In the end it was a Cleary drop-in shot that won it.
In the fourth set, Greely opened a 17-13 lead.
Then, with Kayla Savage serving, the Red Storm won the next seven points. Mills came up with two big hits and Natalie Foster found a hole to win another point.
With the Red Storm up 20-17, Cleary said she knew they couldn’t lose.
She came up with the block that put the Red Storm up 24-22 and touched the ball three times on the final volley to help Scarborough win the point and take the last set, 25-22.
“We just wanted to play aggressive and keep the pressure on them,” Cleary said. “The whole time we just wanted to make sure we didn’t get down on ourselves. We didn’t want to play to lose; we wanted to play to win. Then I felt really excited in that last set. I could feel the momentum. I knew we could do it. Right now I’m at a loss for words.”
Greely Coach Kelvin Hasch said his team started four new players but the level of play in the semifinal was at a different level than it had been the past 10 years, when Hasch’s teams won eight Class A state championships.
“We had them on the ropes three times but we made too many mistakes. And Scarborough is a great team,” he said. “It’s nice to see the competition level has come up. The three sets we lost could have gone either way. The level has most definitely gone up. Now we have to bring our level of play up.”
Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or at: [email protected]Twitter: FlemingPph