Thursday, May 23, 2013
By MARK JEANNERET Special to the Press Herald
CUMBERLAND - Any lingering thoughts that Biddeford wasn't prepared to take a notch out of the Greely volleyball dynasty were put to rest Wednesday night.
Bailey Cote of Biddeford keeps her concentration and her eyes on the ball Wednesday night while setting up a shot for a teammate during the volleyball match against Greely. Biddeford came away with a three-game victory.
Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Biddeford continues to prove it’s the team to beat in high school volleyball, celebrating Wednesday night after defeating Greely in straight games, beating the Rangers for the second time. The Tigers are 7-0; Greely is 4-2.
The Tigers capitalized on experience, a tenacious appetite for the ball and timely points to knock off the Rangers, 25-21, 25-23 and 25-22.
"We knew it was a huge game playing here at Greely," said Biddeford's Katelyn Lebreux. "We knew it was important to come together as a team and definitely prove we have depth, that we can work together and go through challenges."
The victory for Biddeford (6-0) was the second this season over the Rangers, who have won eight of the last nine state titles. The Tigers interrupted the Greely run in 2010.
What made the win more impressive was Biddeford rallied in two games.
In the first game, which featured eight ties and six lead changes, the Rangers (4-2) built a 7-3 lead. The Tigers forced their way back as Bri Collard was on the line for four straight points for a 10-9 lead. From there the teams jockeyed for position until Jocelyn Moody sparked a three-point run with a kill that gave the Tigers a 19-16 lead.
"I felt we were good in that first game," said Biddeford Coach Ruth Shaw. "I thought we came out with a nice strong attitude, were covering things, getting our serves in and playing really well."
In Game 2, neither team led by more than three points. Lebreux swung the momentum in Biddeford's favor with two kills during a five-point run that changed a 15-12 deficit to a 17-15 lead. She also provided a game-ending kill.
The final game saw Biddeford trailing 12-8 before back-to-back kills by Lebreux and Bailey Cote.
"This group is a cohesive group," said Shaw. "They back each other up and they don't get down, even if we are down three or four points. They actually are strong maturity-wise to say, 'OK, I can pass the ball. I know where I'm going to look and I know what I need to do,' without getting flustered. In the 13 years I've been coaching, I don't think I've had a team that can handle pressure like they do."
The pressure seemed to have an opposite effect on Greely.
"We have five seniors and two of them are really struggling right now mentally and that's hurting the whole team," said Coach Kelvin Hasch. "We've worked on it since day one and tonight we played at lot better than when we played (in Biddeford). But we're still not where we should be mentally."
click image to enlarge
Jordynne Copp, left, and Dani Cimino of Greely take control at the net during the loss at home to Biddeford.