BIDDEFORD — Last year wasn’t a typical season for the Cape Elizabeth girls’ volleyball team. An 8-7 season ended with a loss in the preliminary round of the Class A South tournament.

The Capers are now in Class B with the recent reclassification. They are hoping the change will catapult them back to the heyday of 2013-2015 seasons (a state title in 2014) when trips to the state semifinals were the norm.

Tuesday’s win against upstart Biddeford – one of the top teams in Class A last year with a 13-3 record – may be just what the Capers needed. After dropping the first two sets the Capers rallied to win, 3-2 (19-25, 23-25, 25-10, 25-22, 15-11).

Cape improved to 5-0, and this victory was important.

“(After we were down 2-0) we were just thinking, that wasn’t us,” said junior captain Megan Connelly. “We wanted to show up and come back. And we did.

“It’s great to know we can do it and rally and hype each other up.”

Connelly (22 kills) and senior captain Maggie Dadmum (20 assists) did most of the damage. Connelly had 14 kills in the third and fourth sets and Dadmum made very few bad decisions to key the comeback.

“Megan’s sophomore year last year was a breakout year for her,” said Cape Coach Sarah Boeckel. “She has become a smarter player this year and she can handle pressure when we need her to put a kill down. Today the other outside hitter struggled and I put more pressure on (Megan).

“Maggie is a four-year starter. She is going to give you the best ball you need to get a kill.”

Cape Elizabeth jumped to a 5-0 lead in the decisive set behind Dadmum’s five service points and never trailed. Donnelly, Jessie Robicheaw and Anna Torres had kills in the run.

The Tigers (2-1) reeled off the next three points, but the Capers recorded four of the next five points for a 9-4 advantage, including a smart push to open space in the back row by Dadmum that restored the Capers’ momentum. Connelly’s kill to finish the match put the exclamation point on the win.

“Biddeford is a strong team. Coming into their house and winning, I think gives us a little confidence (for the rest of the year),” Boeckel said.

Biddeford Coach Chantel Tourigay felt once Cape gained some energy her team lost its confidence.

“I think there was a momentum shift that Cape’s hustle and defense was bringing to them and it was deflating to us,” said Tourigay. “Hits (earlier) this season that were clear kills for us (saw) Cape getting up and returning. We were playing a lot on our heels and not expecting the ball to be in play.”

The Tigers grabbed the first set behind Grace Martin (8 kills, 2 blocks) as she recorded two kills, one block and a dink shot for a point as her team took a 5-3 advantage.

The second set saw Biddeford battle back from a 7-3 deficit. Mia Martel (3 kills, 4 blocks) served four consecutive points and Brooke Reissfelder three for an 11-8 advantage. Cape tied it at 18 but Biddeford regrouped and grabbed the set, with the last two points coming on a Martel dink and a hit by Chantel Perreault that grazed the top of the net and fell on Cape’s side.

Cape refused to be swept as it jumped to an 8-0 lead in the third set behind Dadmum’s serving and three Connelly kills.

Julia Torre and Anna Torre combined to record seven service points in the fourth set, a 25-22 win for Cape.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: