Kayley Cimino finally got the chance to let her competitive nature out. And then she didn’t hold back.

At the start of her senior volleyball season, wanting Greely to win its first state championship since 2012, Cimino put aside concerns that she was too intense on the court. She racked up 82 aces and 180 kills while leading her team to a 17-0 record and the Class A title.

“She took volleyball to a different place with her team,” said Yarmouth Coach Jim Senecal.

“I think wherever she was in the rotation, she was the best player on the floor.”

Many opposing coaches gave Cimino the nod as the best player in the state, and she’s the Maine Sunday Telegram’s choice as Player of the Year.

After a perfect regular season – no sets lost in 14 matches – Cimino and her teammates eventually defeated Scarborough in the state final, avenging a loss in the 2015 state championship match.

Cimino, who will play for Springfield College in Massachusetts next year, said she was determined to harness her ferocious drive and show others how to tap into theirs.

“I hate losing more than I like winning,” Cimino said with a laugh. “I’ve always been like that. My family is very competitive. As an underclassmen (in high school), you’re not really allowed to show it. It definitely came out more this year.”

Greely Coach Kelvin Hasch credits Cimino for leading the team with smart play and a positive attitude. Hasch said Cimino learned in the offseason how to finesse the ball, find the holes in the opponent’s defense, and motivate her team.

She was the all-around leader, he said.

“I knew I had to pick the girls up,” Cimino admits. “I think most of the time in practice, I was focused on making them better as opposed to making myself better. I didn’t let them slack off during practice. It became a thing that they had to work just as hard as I did.

“Together, we learned you could beat a team a different way each week. Greely has always been known for its offense. This year, we changed it up and focused on defense.”

Hasch credits the streak of 42 straight sets in the regular season to Cimino and senior Molly Chapin.

Hasch said when he called a timeout in a match and the team came together, Cimino and Chapin were the first to speak.

“That didn’t mean anything to me, really,” Hasch said of the streak. “The thing I was trying to get across was to play with confidence. But once they had won three to four matches in three sets, then it was a big deal to them. Molly and Kayley, that was the first thing they brought up to the team when I called timeout.

“(Cimino) is very intense and the other teammates are not quite as intense. This year, she learned how to deal with her own intensity and help others. She learned how to encourage them.”

Telegram All-State team

Molly Chapin, Greely senior, outside hitter: Chapin joined Kayley Cimino in providing the bulk of Greely’s offensive power, tallying 99 kills and leading the Rangers to their ninth Class A title.

Rachel Chille, Yarmouth senior, outside hitter: Along with Alison Clark, Chille fueled Yarmouth’s offense. She had 132 kills, 86 aces and 104 digs.

Kayley Cimino, Greely senior, opposite hitter: The hands-down pick for player-of-the-year honors according to most coaches, she led her team to its first Class A state championship since 2012, amassing 82 aces and 180 kills.

Alison Clark, Yarmouth senior, outside hitter: Clark led Yarmouth to the Class A semifinals with 255 kills, 56 aces and 70 digs.

Kendra Cote, Biddeford senior, middle hitter: Cote led her team to a 13-3 record. She tallied 130 kills with one of the hardest shots in the state.

Jordyn Cowan, Scarborough senior, middle hitter: A smart player with excellent ball placement, Cowan racked up 93 kills while leading Scarborough to a 16-2 record.

Kelly Delaney, Calais senior, outside hitter: Delaney her team to the Class B state championship, amassing 79 aces and 210 kills.

Kacey Foerster, Scarborough senior, outside hitter: Another standout on a deep Red Storm team, Foerster tallied 103 kills and 47 digs to help her team reach the Class A final.

Morgan Selby, Greely sophomore, setter: Selby set the ball perfectly for Greely’s powerful offense while tallying 50 aces and 51 kills.

Madi Tait, Falmouth senior, libero: Varied shots and perfect ball placement made Tait the leader of a team that reached the Class A semifinals. She recorded 104 kills, 64 aces and 279 digs.

Coach of the Year

Kelvin Hasch, Greely: Hasch won his ninth state championship since 2003, guiding the Rangers to a 17-0 record.