The Cheverus and Gorham High volleyball teams entered Thursday night’s Class A prelim with 9-5 records and not much knowledge about each other.

But Gorham Coach Nicole Rizzo said the visiting Rams were just focused on playing their own game, and that was enough.

The ninth-seeded Rams shut out eighth-ranked Cheverus by set scores of 25-17, 25-11 and 25-19, earning a spot at top-ranked Greely (14-0) in the quarterfinals Saturday.

“We hadn’t seen them in the regular season so we’ve just been focusing on doing what we do best,” Rizzo said. “That’s being aggressive at the net.”

Diana Kolb led Gorham with 15 kills; Kristen Curley added 13. Maiya Carlson notched seven aces for the Rams.

“We had great passing and we were really smooth in the back row,” Kolb said. “That made it really easy for our setter, Isabelle (Kolb). She set us up to be able to get those kills – it was definitely the best she has set all year.”

The Stags hosted a playoff game for the first time in the program’s six-year history.

“We played tough tonight against a tough team we hadn’t seen,” Coach Amanda Ruel said. “It’s been an amazing season – we’re making Cheverus history left and right.”

Gorham remained in control for most of the first set. Carlson served an ace to pull the Rams up 6-5, and they never relinquished that lead.

Isabelle Kolb sparked Gorham early in the second set, serving three aces for a 5-1 lead. Liz Jerome ended the scoring run with a kill for Cheverus, but Curley took back possession with a spike into open court.

From there Gorham steadily pulled away. Up 20-11, Carlson served three straight aces and Curley finished the set with two kills.

When the Rams jumped to a 9-3 lead in the third set – with Katherine O’Donnell serving four aces during an eight-point run – they looked poised to put the match away. But errors allowed the Stags the chance to rally, and an Emma Ivy kill cut the deficit to 12-10.

“I told them, ‘This is it, we have to leave it all on the court. The ball doesn’t touch the ground unless your body does first,’ ” Ruel said. “They fought hard.”

Behind Emily Haley’s serving, Cheverus scored five straight points for a 13-12 lead. Ivy kicked off the run with a kill, and Mary Jerome’s blocking at the net earned another two points before a Haley ace capped it. Diana Kolb took back possession with a kill, making it 13-13.

“Take it one point at a time. Take a deep breath and stay relaxed because we’re right there,” Diana Kolb said. “They (Cheverus) are a strong team. They’re really scrappy and they’re good in the back row.”

The teams exchanged leads twice before Gorham took over for good. A Curley kill made it 16-16, and she earned four of the team’s next nine points with a pair of kills and aces for the win.

Mary Jerome led the Stags with four kills and two solo blocks, and her sister Liz Jerome added two kills. Madison Geiger had six digs for Cheverus.

“My girls work super hard and we still have a core group sticking with us,” Ruel said, noting her team is graduating five seniors. “I have high hopes from here on out. My goal next season is to make it past the first round.”

While Gorham lost to Greely 3-0 on Oct. 4, Rizzo said she’s optimistic about taking on last year’s state runner-up.

“We competed against Greely so I’m excited to see what comes Saturday,” Rizzo said. “We’re preparing to make sure we stay mentally strong and work together.”