Wednesday, December 4, 2013
CUMBERLAND - That they lost the fourth set wasn't as important as how they lost.
By three points.
After staring up at a 16-0 hole.
"We're Greely volleyball," said senior Danielle Cimino. "We can come back from anything."
Indeed, after nearly climbing all the way back in the fourth set, the girls of Greely never trailed in the decisive fifth, winning 15-7 Wednesday night to clinch a 3-2 victory over No. 6 Scarborough and send the No. 2 Rangers back to the Class A state finals for the ninth time in 10 years.
Greely (14-2) will play No. 1 Biddeford (16-0) Saturday night at Husson University in Bangor.
It was Cimino who delivered the final spike, after a set by Haleigh Roach as Jordynne Copp served out the last three points of the match.
"I struggled at the beginning," Cimino said. "So having them there to support me at the end was perfect, and getting that kill at the end, it felt amazing."
Scarborough won a close opening set 25-21. Greely responded by overcoming an early four-point deficit to win the second 25-19 and breezed 25-14 in the third.
When they met earlier this month, Greely swept the match with Scarborough not even getting out of the teens.
"They beat us up pretty good the first time we played them," said Red Storm coach Jon Roberts. "So I'm real happy with how we played.
"It was nice to see my kids battle with one of the best teams in the state."
Sophomore Kayla Savage served Scarborough to its remarkable 16-0 lead in the fourth set before she sailed a spike attempt from the back row. The Red Storm seemed well in control at 21-9 before Greely reeled off 13 of the next 15 points behind the serving of Roach and Kristen Atwood.
"We just got a little -- what's the word I'm looking for?" Atwood said. "We got a little disjointed for a little bit. I think we fell into a few early-season habits. And then, the instant we were able to identify what was going on, we just clicked."
So what was going on, aside from Savage's stellar serving?
"We weren't talking," Atwood said. "If you don't call the ball in volleyball, you don't know where the other person is. So you don't know if they're going for it or not. We started talking, and we just turned into a unit."
It was 23-22 when Scarborough junior Natalie Foster halted Greely's comeback by threading a spike through two blockers. Savage then came off the bench to serve amid thunderous noise from within the crowded gymnasium.
She first struck an archer's pose that would make Katniss Everdeen proud, then blasted a service winner to take the set 25-23 and knot the match at 2.
"When we had success," Scarborough's Foster said, "we were serving tough, keeping their passes out of their setters' hands and making them try to make some sort of weird play. But when they pass well, it's going to be hard to beat them."
"They just believe they're going to win," Roberts said. "They don't care what the score is. That's how they've won so much."
Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: