Last year, the Gorham girls volleyball team handed Greely its first loss in over four years when the Rangers came to visit during the regular season. Greely avenged that loss in the playoffs and went on to win its fifth straight state championship.

The Rangers again brought an unblemished record to Gorham when the teams met Monday night. Greely, the No. 1 seed in the latest Western Maine Heal Point Standings, had lost only one game through its first nine matches. Gorham entered the match at 7-2 and third in the Heal Points.

In front of a raucous crowd, Greely pulled out a tight first game, held off Gorham in the second game and cruised in the third for a straight-game victory, 25-18, 25-14 and 25-11.

Greely’s tall and skilled players up front proved the difference. Hillary Cederna had 16 kills, Linnea Zrioka added seven and Michaela Campbell had six. As a team, the Rangers had 34 kills while Gorham had only six.

“We don’t have guns the size of theirs,” said Gorham coach Lisa Curley. “We were hoping to take them out of their game a little bit. But you’ve got to give it to Greely. They’re very competitive and they play great volleyball.”

In the first game, Gorham hung tough. After falling behind 12-7, the Rams battled back to tie it at 13-13 and again at 15-15. But from there, Greely ran off four straight to regain control. A Gorham timeout did little to stop the bleeding as Greely scored six of the game’s last eight points.

“First game, we couldn’t pass the ball,” said Greely coach Kelvin Hasch. “We were running our setter all over the court trying to make a set and we weren’t getting anything. But once we started passing the ball and our setter put the ball on the net you could see we were putting them down.”

The Rangers were hot to start the second game, jumping to a 14-3 lead before Gorham went on a 10-1 run – keyed by three aces from Hannah Shorty and a nice block by Kelsey Crowe – to make it 15-13 and force a Greely timeout.

“We reacted funny that first game until we shook out of it,” Hasch said. “Then when they came back in the second game, we started acting up again. I got them calmed down and we started playing.”

Greely went on its own 10-1 run to close out the game, the final point coming on an ace from Karlee Biskup, who had a match-high six aces.

Gorham led 3-0 after Rachel Fogarty’s ace in the third game, but Greely scored the next six points. Sara Burnheimer’s ace closed the gap to 11-9, but Greely’s Kayla Sampson soon followed with three consecutive aces to put the game and the match away.

“I think our girls were ready to be really competitive,” Curley said. “We just couldn’t get the points to make it a real close match.”

Shorty led Gorham with three aces. Rachel Fogarty came up with seven digs for the Rams. Casey Galipeau came off the Gorham bench to add three nice digs in the final game. Molly Lortie also had three digs for Gorham.

Both teams had strong crowd support as the open side of the bleachers was nearly at capacity. Students from both schools were vocal throughout, with many athletes from Gorham’s other fall teams in attendance.

“The girls worked really hard to get a good crowd and get a lot of support,” Curley said. “We have a lot of great girls sports at this school, so sometimes it’s hard to get people here. It was really nice to have a lot of support.”

While Greely has become accustomed to winning everywhere it goes, Hasch said the crowd and noise at Gorham makes it one of the toughest spots to play, adding that it makes for a good playoff tune-up.

“I like that they bring the football team here to cheer for them,” he said. “It makes it fun.”

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