BRUNSWICK’S MACKENZIE BURROWS (23) delivers a pass with teammates Gabby Diaz, right, and Kathleen Trapp (10) looking on. The Dragons played their first varsity postseason match on Thursday, falling to Bonny Eagles in three sets. Brunswick finished 6-9.

BRUNSWICK’S MACKENZIE BURROWS (23) delivers a pass with teammates Gabby Diaz, right, and Kathleen Trapp (10) looking on. The Dragons played their first varsity postseason match on Thursday, falling to Bonny Eagles in three sets. Brunswick finished 6-9.

BRUNSWICK

In only its second season as a varsity program, the Brunswick High School volleyball team had a lot of firsts this season. As a program, the Dragons won their first match, made the postseason for the first time and hosted a preliminary game in the Class A State high school volleyball tournament.

Thursday evening, No. 9 Bonny Eagle came into Brunswick and used its size, athleticism and experience to blank the eighth-seeded Dragons, 3-0, with set scores of 25-13, 25-14, 25-17. Brunswick finished its season at 6-9.

“We huddled up at the end of the game and the girls told me it was the most fun they’ve had all season,” said Brunswick coach Kaili Phillips. “They were calm and relaxed out there.”

Both teams were represented in the crowd and the excitement and anticipation of the playoff game carried past the first whistle.

“It was great out here tonight, especially after last year with no wins,” said senior Morgan Johnson. “We set a goal at the beginning of the season to win six games and we did.”

With chants of “Let’s go Dragons” and “Here we go green,” the teams played to their strengths, passing well and setting up the front lines at the net.

With the score tied 11-11 in the opening set, Bonny Eagle’s Caitlyn Demers served for the Scots, clearing the net and putting the Dragons in defense mode. The Scots rattled off the next four points before a block by Johnson turned the serve back to Brunswick.

Mackenzie Burrows’ dig and block that followed tightened the Bonny Eagle lead to 15-13. The Scots did not allow another Brunswick point for the remainder of the set, running off 10 straights to take a 1-0 lead.

“We talk a lot about volleyball being a game when you need your opponent to make 25 mistakes for you to win the set,” said Phillips. “So one mistake is one point, no big deal. It’s when you start making multiple mistakes and two turns to three, then four, and so on. They had one server that we struggled with the rotation and failed to get out of one in the first set.”

Set two started much like the first, with both teams trading points, with neither team getting more than a two-point lead. The Scots once again put together a couple of runs, pulling away for a 25-14 win for a 2-0 lead.

“We saw Bonny Eagle this year in the round robin tournament at the beginning of the season and I saw them some last year,” said senior Tahlya Edgerton. “We knew they had some big hitters and passed well, but we also felt it would be a good match for us. This game was the most fun I’ve had all season.”

Trailing two sets to none, and 20-7 in the third, the young, but senior heavy squad did not give in. Still supporting each other after Bonny Eagle points, the Dragons got behind Gabby Diaz’s accurate serving. Strong passing from senior tri-captain Ashley Alexander and digs by Kathleen Trapp (one ace, one kill, five digs) and Emma Dorr (four digs) extended play for the Dragons, cutting the Scots lead to 20-14. After a Bonny Eagle point, Burrows served the Dragons to few more points, trailing 21-16.

The visitors scored four of the next five points to take the match, 25-17.

The Scots (6-9) advanced to the quarterfinals and will travel to No. 1 Deering on Saturday.

Regardless of the outcome, a lot from this past season will only help propel the Brunswick program for years to come.

“The jayvee team was great this year. Out of our 12 players, 10 of them had never played before, so they learned a lot,” said Phillips. “We graduated eight seniors last year and will nine this year, so we have some turnover on the roster. We practice as a pool, so the jayvee kids get the same practice as varsity. It’s usually a smooth transition.”

“I think the future of the program is in great shape. Our jayvee team had a great season and I think it’s only going to get better,” added Johnson after the tri-captain contributed with five digs for the Dragons.

“It’s pretty cool to be on a team in only its second season,” said Edgerton, who finished with three aces, four kills and three digs for the Dragons. “It was great to play with pretty much the same girls for two years. I didn’t expect we would win six games, but everyone worked hard.”

“We weren’t expecting to really make the playoffs this year, so to go out and do that in our second season,” said senior tri-captain Burrows, who ended her night with three aces, four kills and three digs.


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