GORHAM — Gorham topped Deering 3-0 Thursday night in a matchup of top Class A volleyball teams, but it wasn’t as easy as the score indicated.

Gorham (6-0) won 25-21, 25-22, 25-22, but needed a mid-set run in each to thwart Deering.

Deering, a fourth-year varsity program that finished 14-2 last season, dropped to 5-2.

“We played every ball like it was our last,” said Gorham senior setter Isabelle Kolb. “We said we wanted to go out there fighting for every ball and didn’t want anything to drop. I think we achieved that.

“When we were down we pushed and I don’t think anyone dropped their head. One of our goals (this year) was to work on our mental toughness. I think we did that (tonight).”

Kolb directed Gorham’s offense with 14 assists. She had many options as five players – Meg Perry (six), Maiya Carlson (six), Colette Romartis (four), Evelyn Kitchen (four) and Katie O’Donnell (four) – finished with at least four kills.

In the decisive set, Gorham used a run to take its first lead since 4-3.

A Carlson spike got the serve back and a Perry kill, off a Kolb assist, followed. Two Carlson aces sandwiched a Perry spike to give Gorham a 16-14 lead before Kitchen’s kill forced a Deering timeout. The advantage ballooned to 19-14 with the 8-0 run.

Deering battled back and grabbed its last lead at 21-20. Gorham then reeled off five of the final six points – the winner on Carlson’s push shot into open space.

“This (win) is a really big deal for us,” said Gorham Coach Emma Tirrell. “Last year (which ended in a quarterfinals loss) we felt strong but we could never win games against the strongest teams. This year we are fighting and figuring out what we need to do in order to battle.”

In addition to Thursday night’s win, Gorham has also defeated Class A runner-up South Portland.

“They have the skills but they just needed to get the mindset, so this win is very big for them,” Tirrell said. “I think they will stay humble but they want to play like they are invincible while staying humble. I think the 6-0 (record) speaks for what we can do this season.”

Deering raced to a 5-1 lead in the opening set only to hit a bump in the middle.

Gorham’s Sara Slager served eight straight points for a 13-6 bulge as Deering couldn’t return her serve, despite it not being overpowering. Deering roared back to cut its deficit to 23-19 on back-to-back kills by Victoria Garand (eight kills). Both came off of assists by Maddy Broda, who finished with 16.

The set ended when Lily Barden had a kill on a ball at the net.

Deering suffered the same fate in the middle set when it led 17-8 only to see poor play give the set away. Carlson served seven consecutive points to make the score 17-16. Gorham scored the final three points – Carlson kill, miscommunication between two Deering players and a Kitchen kill.

“The runs, it was really (because of) our service receiving,” said Deering Coach Nika Francois. “We need to get there one step quicker.

“It was a rough night. A lot of unexpected things happened, things we don’t necessarily do. But volleyball is a game of mistakes. We expect to come back stronger and better.”

Ava Spach (five kills), Rachel Pardi (blocks) and Catherine Balzano (four kills) had strong games for Deering.

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