YARMOUTH — In a little over an hour Monday night, Yarmouth High’s defending Class B volleyball champion emerged as this year’s team to beat.

In a rematch of last season’s thrilling state final against Cape Elizabeth, the Clippers took the first set with ease, 25-15, came from behind to win the second game 25-23, then closed their 3-0 victory by holding off the Capers 25-19 at Jack Stroud Gymnasium.

“I know that Cape is an excellent team and it’s never over against them,” said Yarmouth Coach Jim Senecal. “They’re good all over the floor. They’re going to be really tough by the end of the year.”

The opening set saw the Clippers (1-1) open a 7-2 lead and after the Capers rallied to make it 9-9, a kill from Maggie Murray put Yarmouth on top for good. The Clippers gradually pulled away and took the game after a Cape Elizabeth service fault.

In the first set, Murray had six kills and Sophie Dickson added seven assists.

Dickson, a sophomore, has impressed since replacing the graduated Dominique Moran as the setter.

“Dominique was my role model,” said Dickson. “When she went to college it was tough, but the other girls have been really awesome (to me).”

The Capers (1-1) scored the first three points of the second set, then Yarmouth pulled even eight times but couldn’t take the lead. That finally changed after the Clippers tied it for the ninth time, 21-21 on a Murray ace. Another Murray ace put Yarmouth on top, but Cape Elizabeth got the next two points. After tying the score on a block from Kathryn Keaney, the Clippers took the lead on an ace from Sadie Gallant, then won when the Capers couldn’t return the ball.

“Winning that game would have changed momentum,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Sarah Boeckel. “It was just a couple mental errors. We have youth, and we’re still jelling and figuring each other out.”

Yarmouth rode the momentum of winning the second game into the third and a Murray kill put the team on top to stay. Yarmouth went up 18-12, but the Capers crept back to 18-15 before a Senecal timeout sparked a match-ending surge. A kill from Evelyn Lukis and a pair of aces from Murray stretched the lead, and a block by Margaret McNeil ended the match.

“Our hard work and service really helped tonight,” said Murray, who had 14 kills and four aces. “I think we can still play a lot better than we did.”

Lukis finished with 12 kills and Dickson had 23 assists.

Cape Elizabeth was paced by 17 assists from setter Corina Page and tremendous play all over the court from libero Julia Torre.

The teams meet again in the regular-season finale Oct. 21 at Cape Elizabeth.

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