CAPE ELIZABETH — For the second time in four years, Cape Elizabeth won a volleyball state championship to cap a dominating season, sweeping its state semifinal and championship matches en route to the Class B title.

Many players contributed, none more so than outside hitter Megan Connelly.

In the Capers’ biggest matches, the 5-foot-9 junior delivered virtually every time her team needed a powerful hit at the net.

She finished the season with 145 kills, 47 aces and 107 digs, and was a leader on a team that finished 17-0.

Connelly is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Volleyball Player of the Year, beating out impressive players such as Asia Mattress, a sophomore on Scarborough’s Class A state champion, and South Portland senior Molly Mawhinney.

Capers Coach Sarah Boeckel said her team didn’t talk about going undefeated and didn’t even talk about winning a state title until they got to the final match. But Connelly was a confident leader who spoke up and made big plays when scores were close.

“This year I wouldn’t let fear dictate. I didn’t worry we were going to lose a point,” she said.

Boeckel agreed. “When we made mistakes this year, they were good mistakes. We didn’t make sloppy mistakes. And we adjusted quickly. That was frustrating to other teams.”

Those adjustments came into play early in the season when the Capers fell behind Biddeford two games to none on Sept. 12. The Capers came back to win the match after Connelly totaled 14 kills in the third and fourth games.

“(After we were down 2-0) we were just thinking, that wasn’t us,” she said. “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 continued to come up big in the playoffs. In a semifinal victory over Greely, she served five consecutive points in the first set and finished with seven kills.

In the state final against Falmouth, Connelly turned up her game in a tight second set that Cape Elizabeth won, 29-27.

“It was so close,” she said. “But if we gave up that set, the match would have taken longer. I said to (my teammates), ‘We’ve got this set. We’re going to win this. We’re going home early.’ ”

Connelly said the team put in more work in the weight room and on conditioning. During long rallies in tough matches, players weren’t tired.

“The only thing we said about a state title was in preseason. We said the banner in the gym with (the school’s only) 2014 state title was looking a little lonely,” said Connelly.


Kaitlyn Bennett, Yarmouth freshman outside hitter: Bennett had 122 kills, 74 digs and 65 aces, leading Yarmouth to a 13-1 record in the regular season.

Maddy Broda, Deering junior setter: Broda was a big reason why Deering went 13-1 during the regular season in only its third varsity season, compiling 403 assists, 122 digs and 87 aces.

Megan Connelly, Cape Elizabeth junior outside hitter: When the Capers needed a winning point, Connelly was there. She had 145 kills, 47 aces and 107 digs for the undefeated Class B state champions.

Maggie Dadmun, Cape Elizabeth senior setter: Dadmun ran the Capers’ offense, and ended with 25 kills, 56 aces, 91 digs and 318 assists.

Dianne Dervis, Deering senior outside hitter: Despite standing just 5 feet, Dervis plays with power, whether hitting or serving. She had 125 kills, 126 digs and 52 aces.

Annika Hester, Falmouth freshman outside hitter: In a sweep of Cony in the Class B quarterfinals, Hester had six kills. Then she dominated at the net in the semifinals to help Falmouth rally from a two-set deficit to defeat Yarmouth, 3-2.

Asia Mattress, Scarborough sophomore outside hitter: Mattress was consistent, in control and powerful, tallying 200 kills, 41 blocks and 56 aces, and was called one of the biggest impact players in the state.

Molly Mawhinney, South Portland senior outside hitter: Many coaches call Mawhinney the best player in the state. She led South Portland to its first state final in the varsity program’s fourth year. She had 181 kills and 66 aces.

Natalie Simonton, Scarborough senior outside hitter: Simonton was instrumental in the Red Storm’s drive to its second title in three years. The senior tallied 36 aces and 136 kills, including 10 in the state final. She provided a powerful 1-2 punch with Mattress.

Kaleisha Towel, South Portland sophomore middle hitter: When the Red Riots needed a ball put down, Towel was there. With 52 blocks and 81 kills she was a leader on a team that went to its first state final. In the final she had five kills, four blocks and six digs.


Sarah Boeckel, Cape Elizabeth: Boeckel led the Capers to a perfect season with a 17-0 record, and sweeps in both the semifinals and final as Cape won its second state title in four years.



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.