Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By Mike Lowe email@example.com
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jordynne Copp, Greely, junior middle hitter: The most consistent of the Rangers' front line players this year, Copp has had an outstanding season in helping Greely secure the No.2 berth in Class A. Copp served at an 88.1 percentage, with 17 aces. She had 39 kills, 36 blocks and 12 digs. "She's always doing something special," said Coach Kelvin Hasch.
Kate Myers, Yarmouth, senior middle hitter: A reserve last year, she has played a big role in helping the Clippers earn the No.4 berth in Class B. For the season she served at an 87.1 percentage with 38 aces, had 49 kills, 14 blocks and 18 digs.
Lauren Piper, Scarborough, junior setter: Piper stepped up in a big role this year to help the Red Storm to a 9-4 record. As a setter, she had 255 assists and 54 digs. She scored 132 service points with 56 aces. And she had five blocks.
Katelyn Lebreux, Biddeford, senior outside hitter: Moved from libero last year and has improved tremendously. She serves with 95 percent accuracy, scoring 150 service points with 18 aces. She has 84 kills, 20 blocks and 92 digs.
AREA TOP FIVE
But when asked who is favored in the upcoming Class A tournament, she didn't hesitate with her answer:
"Biddeford and Greely. They're just tough. It's not just one player, but six or seven that they can put out there that can beat you. I know there's going to be a lot of teams out to get them. But so far that's been elusive."
Biddeford (14-0) will enter the Class A tournament ranked first, the state's only unbeaten team. Greely (14-2), the defending Class A champ, is ranked second, the only losses to Biddeford.
And while Biddeford Coach Ruth Shaw and Greely Coach Kelvin Hasch like their teams' chances, they know better than to get too excited.
"I really think it's anybody's game," said Shaw. "A team like Falmouth is the No.7 seed. Well, Falmouth doesn't play like a seventh seed."
Hasch added, "There's a big pack of teams in the five, six, seven spot that are just strong teams. You cannot overlook anyone."
And that gives hope to teams like No.5 Gorham and No.6 Scarborough. While both have long trips for Saturday's quarterfinals -- Gorham to Mt. Desert Island and Scarborough to Ellsworth -- the Rams and Red Storm are capable of going far in this tournament.
"I think from here on out, it's all plus teams," said Scarborough Coach Jon Roberts. "Greely and Biddeford have the best chance to win but I won't say no one else can win it."
The Tigers have gone through the regular season undefeated on the strength of great depth, experience and talent. And the Tigers never seem to get rattled. Seniors Mariah Hebert, Katelyn Lebreux and Autumn Dube have been the leaders, along with junior Bailey Cote, sophomore Brianna Collard and freshman Jocelyn Moody.
Greely hasn't lost since the Tigers beat the Rangers on Sept. 19 in three sets. Hasch said the team turned it around in winning its last eight matches. The Rangers have been led by their two captains, Kristen Atwood and Katie Ventre, along with Jordynne Copp, and liberos Lexie Foster and Krystyna Rybka.
Gorham played everyone tough this year. "The girls really came together and many of the role players have stepped up," said Curley. "We really support each other emotionally and that's a big part of our success."
Gorham beat Scarborough in five sets last Friday to move into the fifth spot, ahead of the Red Storm.
"But we're in a good place," said Scarborough's Roberts. "Our loss Friday hopefully refocused us. Now we can go in loose and ready to play."
YARMOUTH, THE defending Class B state champ, goes in No. 4 with a 10-4 record and will have a home quarterfinal match against Machias on Saturday. And then? A win means a long trip to top-ranked Washington Academy in East Machias on Oct. 25.
"That would be a good character builder," said Coach Jim Senecal. "Everything is going against you in a game like that, and you have to step up and rise to the challenge."
But Senecal doesn't want to get ahead of himself. He knows Jonesport-Beals won't be easy. The Clippers beat the Royals on Sept. 8 in five sets. And the Royals' patient defensive style -- in which they wait for the Clippers to make mistakes -- is tough to play against.
"You have to be cleaner," said Senecal. "You have to be aggressive when you can be, but not over-aggressive. It becomes a game of serve percentages and getting the ball back over the net."
Yarmouth should be well prepared. The Clippers' losses have been to Class A playoff teams: Gorham, Windham, Falmouth and Greely.
"I think our girls certainly don't feel, collectively, like a No.4 seed," said Senecal. "We know a lot of what happens in the Heal points is dictated by our schedule and things out of our control. But we feel we're certainly one of the top seeds in Class B and can challenge for that title again."
THE TOURNAMENT schedule:
Thursday -- Class A prelim between Windham and Cape Elizabeth.
Saturday: Quarterfinals, Class A and B, at higher seed
Wednesday, Oct. 24: Semifinals, Class A and B, at higher seed
Saturday, Oct. 27: State championships at Husson University in Bangor, beginning at 5 p.m. with Class B.
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:
Corrections: This story was revised at 1:30 p.m., Oct. 17, 2012, to state that Yarmouth will have a home quarterfinal match against Machias on Saturday. Also, the state championship will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Husson University in Bangor.