BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL girls volleyball player Katharine Kunhardt (15) makes a pass while teammate Julia Baumgarte looks on during a match with Falmouth at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School in Brunswick on Tuesday. The Dragons battled hard in a 3-0 loss to Falmouth.

BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL girls volleyball player Katharine Kunhardt (15) makes a pass while teammate Julia Baumgarte looks on during a match with Falmouth at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School in Brunswick on Tuesday. The Dragons battled hard in a 3-0 loss to Falmouth.

BRUNSWICK

Little steps!

That is what Brunswick High School coach Kaili Phillips has seen from her Dragons in the inaugural season of girls varsity volleyball.

PLAYERS FROM BRUNSWICK and Falmouth meet at the net prior to the start of Tuesday’s high school volleyball match in Brunswick.

PLAYERS FROM BRUNSWICK and Falmouth meet at the net prior to the start of Tuesday’s high school volleyball match in Brunswick.

On Tuesday at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School, Brunswick battled back after a tough opening set, showing huge strides in a 3-0 loss to Falmouth.

Despite the 0-6 record and five consecutive 3-0 match losses since opening with a hard-fought 3-2 setback to Gardiner, Phillips and her squad is excited to be playing the sport, improving in each match, as witnessed by the 25-9, 25-20, 25-21 loss to the Yachtsmen, a team near the top of the standings with a 4-2 record.

BRUNSWICK’S Margaret Dickinson spikes the ball.

BRUNSWICK’S Margaret Dickinson spikes the ball.

“More than half of these girls had never played before,” said Phillips, whose Dragons return to action Thursday at Scarborough. “We tell them we wish we would have videotaped them those first couple days. To see what they are doing now, it was almost comical those early days. They are learning at such a steep rate and they work extraordinarily hard.

“Half of them are seniors, and they define success. They love to work hard and learn. They get it. Some of the seniors say how they will be recruiting freshmen for next year. That is great!”

In a match that started out poorly for the Dragons in a lopsided opening set, Brunswick pushed back hard, led by Margaret Dickinson, Katharine Kunhardt, Macy Giunti and Mackenzie Burrows, pushing Falmouth in a back and forth second set. Trailing 10-4, Brunswick ran off nine of 10 points off the serves of Tahlya Edgerton and Dickinson for a 13-11 lead.

“It was the energy. We got together and decided that we wanted to make this a game, making good volleys. It really fired us up,” said Dickinson, who remembers those first practices in mid- August. “We are 10 times better right now. We have been practicing really hard, working on our sets and hits, passing and serving. It really came together tonight.”

Falmouth answered, using a key 8-2 run to close the set for a 25-20 victory. Three straight aces by Malia White started things rolling for the Yachtsmen, who received three kills from hard-hitting Alison Noyes and two from Teagan McMahon.

Dragons take lead

The third set began perfectly for the hosts, as Sophie Katz served three straight times, with Burrows sending a shot to the floor for a 4-0 Brunswick lead.

“I was shocked that they came out really strong. It is a new program that has a great coach. They came out and played good volleyball,” said Falmouth senior Victoria Burton. “I think it is great that a lot of new teams are coming into this sport. “It is a lot of fun. We get to see teams like Cheverus, Deering this year. It is great for the sport.”

Falmouth again recovered, using an 8-2 run for an 8-6 lead. The Dragons refused to go away, forcing four ties, the final one coming at 14. The Yachtsmen picked up the next six points to take control and withstood one more Brunswick push, with the Dragons drawing to 23-20 when Dickinson put away a pass from Giunti, who had three assists.

“It has been amazing, and we have really clicked as a team,” said former Brunswick field hockey player Dickinson, who led the Dragons with five kills. “I played club last year, and I heard how much fun volleyball was. I really love it.”

Leading 24-21, Falmouth ended the hard-fought match as the third set featured several long volleys and tough points.

Noyes finished with five aces and four kills for Falmouth, with Katie Stimson adding four aces and three kills. Falmouth liberos Kayla Warner and Madi Tait each had five assists, with Tait serving up four aces.

For Brunswick, Burrows had three kills, while Edgerton served up three aces. Kunhardt chipped in two aces, two blocks and three kills.

Falmouth 3, Brunswick 0

At Harriet Beecher Stowe in Brunswick

Falmouth 25 25 25
Brunswick 9 20 21

Falmouth — Alison Noyes, Danielle Casavant, Teagan McMahon, Victoria Burton, Katie Stimson, Kayla Warner, Juliana Baranowski, Alston Armstrong, Alaina Birkel, Madi Tait. Brunswick — Macy Giunti, Victoria Stevens, Katharine Kunhardt, Julia Baumgarte, Margaret Dickinson, Tahlya Edgerton, Mackenzie Burrows, Ashley Alexander, Emma Dorr. Records — Falmouth 4-2, Brunswick 0-6. Up next for the Dragons — Thursday at Scarborough, 6 p.m.


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