CUMBERLAND — With seven seniors, a perfect record and a sweep of nine-time-state-champion Greely, the Biddeford volleyball team had a lot to feel good about Thursday after beating the host Rangers, 26-24, 25-21, 25-17.

But senior Grace Boisvert, who took on setter duties in addition to playing at outside hitter this season, said the best part of the smooth, convincing win was when “Coach yelled.”

“Our coach really pumps us up,” Boisvert said of Coach Ruth Shaw – the program’s founder who returned this season after being away for three years. “She yells at us and we love that. I think we all came together in this match.”

Shaw, who started the Biddeford program in 1999 and led the Tigers to two state championships and the 2010 Class A state title, said her team looked powerful, cohesive and scrappy – refusing to give up on a single point.

“I want them to love the game and not worry about losing,” Shaw said. “They played tonight like they love the game.”

Greely’s Katie Fitzpatrick spikes the ball during Thursday’s match at Cumberland, as Biddeford’s Lexi Matteau and Grace Boisvert, right, try to block. Staff photo by Ben McCanna

Biddeford (3-0) led at virtually every point.

In the first set, Greely (1-2) took a 2-1 lead, but it didn’t last as Biddeford quickly made it 7-2 off two Grace Martin kills. The Tigers led the rest of the set.

Greely senior Morgan Selby won five service points in a row to help the Rangers pull within two, but Martin was repeatedly at the net with a drop-in shot and Chantel Perreault added an ace to help grow the lead.

“Grace is a powerhouse,” Shaw said. “She’s getting smarter and better. She’s seeing when there are two blockers and where there’s a hole. We’ve been working on that. She’s really getting it.”

The second set was even more decisive. Biddeford took the early lead, and other than Greely tying the score twice, the Tigers led the entire set.

Biddeford’s Grace Martin spikes the ball Thursday during a match against Greely. Biddeford won 3-0. Staff photo by Ben McCanna

Selby added two kills early, but the Tigers controlled the pace to take the set.

Biddeford middle hitter Sydney Gagne opened the third set with an ace – and that set the tone.

Selby again stepped up for Greely – with two aces early to make it 3-2, but two Greely mistakes and two Martin kills gave Biddeford a 7-4 advantage.

In the final set, the Tigers led by as many as 10.

Martin, who finished with 13 kills, said her team is passing even better, making it that much easier for her and other hitters to win points.

“When our passing is on there are more options, and our passing was on,” Martin said. “Then we’re less predictable. Greely and Biddeford have always had a huge rivalry. This is a nice win.”

Greely’s Mackenzie Ludwick spikes the ball on Thursday during a home match against Biddeford. Staff photo by Ben McCanna

Greely Coach Kelvin Hasch said the Rangers were not on their game and made too many mistakes.

“Biddeford plays totally as a team. And they’ve got one good hitter who can put it away – No. 4 (Martin),” Hasch said. “We’re not playing to their level yet. We’re not passing and hitting. We’re too timid.”

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:

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Twitter: FlemingPph