SOUTH PORTLAND — An impressive defense allowed the visiting Biddeford High girls’ volleyball team to beat South Portland 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Biddeford won, 25-15, 14-25, 25-10, 20-25, 15-6, to improve to 8-2.

“They have really good hitters – (Molly Mawhinney), if she gets a clean swing and we’re not in the right position, that’s a score every time,” said Biddeford Coach Chantel Tourigny. “Towards the end, we did much better getting a dig from our outside defense on those and it definitely made a difference.”

Leading the way for the Tigers was junior setter Brooke Reissfelder.

“That was probably the best defensive game I’ve seen from a setter in high school,” Tourigny said. ”

South Portland jumped to an early 8-5 lead in the first game before Biddeford responded with an impressive 20-10 run the rest of the way to take the first game. Mia Martel led the way, recording four blocks and two kills in the opening game. Reissfelder had four of her eight assists.

The Tigers recorded five of their 17 aces in the first game. Biddeford got five aces each from junior Grace Boisvert and Reissfelder.

“Serving is one of the things I’ve harped on since the beginning as one of the most important pieces,” said Tourigny. “If you can’t serve for the win, you’re not going to win. It’s something we’ve really taken to heart all season and worked on every practice. I do feel almost every game, we’ve been the stronger serving team. We might not always be the strongest hitting team, but we really try to be the strongest serving team.”

For the Red Riots, setter sophomore setter Ashley Aceto recorded five assists and junior Grace Rende (five kills, three assists, five blocks) chipped in with three kills as they dropped the first game.

In game two, the Red Riots took an early lead, cruising to the 25-14 win. Aceto dished out five assists and Mawhinney registered five aces from the service line to go with three kills in the game.

Despite strong defensive play at the net from sophomore Kaleisha Towle (13 blocks, five kills) in game three – she blocked five shots – South Portland lost 25-10.

The Red Riots came back to tie the match with a 25-20 victory in the fourth game. Aceto (23 assists) recorded seven assists and Mawhinney (13 kills, nine aces) registered five kills to lead the way.

Biddeford’s defense and serving proved extremely strong again in the final game, allowing the Tigers to finish off the win. Junior Chantel Perreault paced the Tigers from the service line, drilling three straight aces to end the game.

“Defense has been the biggest thing we’ve focused on all season,” said South Portland Coach Nicole Kane. “We do serve receives, we do 3-ball passes. We know how important it is, it’s just when it comes down to the big moments, sometimes we’re not able to pull through. In games two and four we were able to do that no problem, but couldn’t find it in the others.”

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