YARMOUTH — It was improbable, maybe impossible. It was exhilarating, maybe even a little spellbinding.

Falmouth High rallied after losing the first two sets to stun second-ranked Yarmouth in the Class B volleyball semifinals Wednesday night.

The third-ranked Yachtsmen won the fifth set 15-10, coming back from an early four-point deficit, to advance to the state championship match with the 3-2 victory.

Falmouth (12-4) will play at Cape Elizabeth at 1 p.m. Saturday for the Class B state title. Yarmouth finished 14-2.

“This team never gives up, no matter what,” said Falmouth senior Danielle Casavant, who had her biggest moments in the final set. “This team is just one that just fights constantly. We’ve done this before, gone to five, when it wasn’t in our favor. We fight so hard. We knew we deserved it.”

The Clippers controlled the first two sets 25-20 and 25-13, each time falling behind early, then going on a lengthy run.

But that all changed in the third. With Yarmouth leading 5-3, it was Falmouth, with Alston Armstrong serving, that went on an 18-0 run. Annika Hester and Alison Noyes controlled the net for Falmouth, blocking Yarmouth’s spikes or burying their own, and the Yachtsmen won the third set, 25-7.

Falmouth then scored the first seven points of the fourth and Yarmouth Coach Jim Senecal knew the momentum had shifted.

“We couldn’t recover,” he said. “Unlike Falmouth, what they did in the first two sets, they would make a little run at the end, we never made that run. And that carried over to the fourth set.”

Hester was phenomenal in the fourth set, leading the Yachtsmen to a 25-14 decision, setting up the 15-point fifth set. “I just knew I had to step up, ” she said. “I stayed calm, I wasn’t freaking out.”

There the Clippers went up 5-1 behind Kaitlyn Bennett and led 9-6 when Falmouth regained its footing.

Yarmouth’s last lead was at 10-9. A long serve by the Clippers tied the set at 10. Then Casavant, who hadn’t been involved much because of the rotation of the front row, gave Falmouth an 11-10 lead by spiking the ball from the left into an open spot on the right side of the court. It became 12-10 when Yarmouth couldn’t return a Katie Phillips serve, putting the ball into the net. Then Casavant made it 13-10, again spiking the ball from the left to the right.

“She did not get a whole lot of sets the entire match,” said Falmouth Coach Molly Northway, “but she came through in the clutch. Just when we needed her, she did everything right.”

A Yarmouth return out of bounds made it 14-10. Then came the final point, a beautiful volley between the teams that ended with Casavant and Armstrong going up at the middle of the net to block a Yarmouth tip back onto the court, and setting off a wild celebration.

“(Falmouth) did a great job,” said Senecal. “You get down by two sets and … for that team to regroup like they did, that’s a credit to (Northway) and the way she handles that team.”

“It looked a little dicey,” said Northway. “We’ve really been working hard on trying to turn plays around. It’s one point that makes a momentum change … And we cut into it little by little. Once we got our groove down, it just clicked.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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