WINDHAM — It took five sets, but sixth-seeded Windham was able to advance past 11th-ranked Gorham in the Class A volleyball preliminary round Thursday night.

The Eagles (12-3) turned it on in the fifth set, leaving no doubt they would come out on top en route to a 15-5 score to take the match.

“We played really well. Just, everyone’s emotions were running high. We wanted that fifth set really bad,” said Gorham Coach Nicole Rizzo. “We knew that we deserved it. We got caught in serving rotations and just didn’t execute.

“Windham played great.”

Melanie Aldrich plays a key role for Windham. She is the setter and floor captain.

“I think, personally, I’m good at getting the team together,” said Aldrich. “If we make a bad pass, shake it off. It’s all a mental game in the long haul. If we see them tipping, we adjust, and just play our game.

Aldrich delivered an ace to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead in the fifth set. They made it a 4-0 advantage with Aldrich serving.

“One of our goals this year is to be mentally strong. That’s what we had to do today to beat Gorham,” said Windham Coach Chris Cloutier.

With the match 1-1, it was clear that the third set would be crucial.

As it did in four of the five sets, Windham scored first in the third set. The Eagles jumped out to a 9-4 lead, but Gorham (6-9) came storming back to take a 21-17 advantage and looked prime to take the set.

“At that point we had to figure out how to change what we were doing,” said Cloutier.

Windham called a timeout. Coming out of that timeout, Gorham committed a server error.

The momentum shifted as the Rams committed multiple errors to finish the set as the Eagles took the third set, 25-23.

“When you win a set and lose the next one, you need to be able to shake that off and come back. If you’re not mentally tough, you usually let those go,” said Cloutier.

“We just came together as a team and knew that every serve counted,” said Aldrich.

These teams have played each other tough lately. Windham defeated Gorham in five sets during a match in the regular season.

But this game served as vengeance for Windham, which was eliminated from the playoffs by Gorham last season in five sets.

“This was our redemption this year. (Gorham) is definitely a tough team and their record didn’t show (their ability),” said Cloutier.

The Rams started off hot, taking the first set, 25-18.

Diana Kolb notched four kills in that set and Cassidy Landry delivered three aces.

“Windham played us tough. They made us think about the plays we wanted to run. They outplayed us,” said Rizzo.

Landry finished the night with eight aces.

Kolb had 11 kills, three aces and one block.

YARMOUTH 3, BONNY EAGLE 0: Alison Clark had eight aces and five kills as the eight-seeded Clippers (11-4) rolled to a straight-set victory against ninth-ranked Bonny Eagle (10-5) in a volleyball prelim at Yarmouth.

Rachel Chille finished with six kills for the Clippers, who won by scores of 25-6, 25-14 and 25-11.

SCARBOROUGH 3, BIDDEFORD 2: The fifth-seeded Red Storm (10-5) withstood an expected challenge from the 12th-ranked Tigers (5-10) before prevailing in five sets in a Class A prelim at Scarborough.

Jordyn Cowan (15 kills), Kacey Foerster (10) and Taylor Marinko (9) led the Red Storm.


CARRABEC 4, MT. ABRAM 1: Dylan Willette finished with three goals to lift seventh-seeded Carrabec (9-5-1) past 10th-ranked Mt. Abram (4-10-1) in a Class C South preliminary-round game at North Anson.

Dustin Crawford added a goal and an assist, Nick Sansone chipped in with two assists and Trent Richardson made 10 saves for the Cobras.

Court Talmage scored and Seth Thomas stopped 12 shots for the Roadrunners.