Ursa Steiner pulls the trigger on a serve. Adam Birt / American Journal

GORHAM—Gorham charged past visiting Deering on Saturday, Oct. 12, winning in straight sets (i.e., 3-0). Gorham got great play across the floor, with Meg Perry, Ursa Steiner, Gianna Romatis and others all contributing in a big way.“We’ve been working super-hard on figuring out how to stay powerful together, and on not losing leads that we gain,” Gorham head coach Emma Tirrell said. “We’re really good at starting games and having a lead – and then losing it,” she said. “Deering is a great team with great coaching, and we wanted to keep leads today. We did a really nice job not missing serves – that made the difference.”

“I don’t really go in expecting to win, expecting to lose, expecting to take sets off teams,” Perry said, asked if she envisioned her girls blistering Deering like they did. “Because that just puts me in a weird mindset…So I just consider how they work together as a team, where they’re scrappy, who their best defensive player is, who I need to look at across the net, who’s blocking me. We all, individually, look at one of those things and put it together as a team.”

Gorham zipped to victory in the first set, taking the W 25-7. And though Deering performed better in the second and third sets, they never really threatened their hosts.

In the second set, Gorham scooted out front 10-2, and then 12-3. Deering bounced back to 12-4 on a nice point by their own Charlene Butera; they inched to 12-5 after that, but their best efforts were mere minor setbacks for Gorham.

Deering collected their seventh point of the second set when Gorham served long. By that time, though, Gorham had already heaped up 19. Gorham danced to 21-10 on a Haley Burns ace, 24-11 on a Kelly Curran ace, and 25-12 – the end score – on a Maddy Berry point.

“We did a nice job taking chaotic balls and slowing them down,” Tirrell said. “As we all know, not every pass in volleyball is perfect; when it’s not perfect, we call it ‘out-of-system.’ We did a beautiful job taking out-of-system balls and scoring with them. That’s something we’ve been working on.”

“I was excited and happy to see them work well together,” Tirrell continued, “without me needing to holler at them from the bench or give them corrections. I’m proud of the girls today because they found themselves…They decided what results they wanted and found those. It was fun to watch.”

“You have to adjust,” Perry said. “Especially with scrappy teams like [Deering]. They can send wonky balls over the net, so the pass isn’t going to be perfect every time…We’ve been working on it in practice, and more and more as we do it in games, it gets a lot better.”

Deering tallied the first point of the third set, then retook the lead at 2-1, but Gorham were just limbering up. Gorham jumped on top 4-2 and remained there at 4-3, but found themselves even-stevens with Deering again at 4-4. Finally, they began to pull away for good at 5-4, 6-4 and 7-4 – Caralin Mills hashed two of those points, and Skylar Prince the other.

Deering’s Rachel Pardi went nose-to-nose with Perry, defending at the net, midway through the set, but couldn’t stuff her; Perry earned 14-8 for Gorham. She also earned her girls 16-11 and 18-13. Soon, Prince made it 24-14. Ellie Perry then closed the day with a tip: 25-16.

3-0 the final.

“Meg Perry did a beautiful job playing out-of-system and adjusting,” Tirrell said, asked who played well. “Ursa Steiner and Gianna Romatis did a beautiful job setting. They did a really nice job making corrections.”

“As I said, we were having a hard time keeping leads and earning balls back and coming back from deficits,” Tirrell said, “because we would not connect to the pass or not connect with the set – and that’s on the setters sometimes. The setters did a really nice job today leaving it to the passing and the hitting to make the decision; they did a really god job being quarterbacks and not making their own errors.”

Perry, a senior, was quick to nod at some of her teammates’ contributions: “Megan (Young) and Anya (Mazaris-Atkinson) came off the bench prepared, and I don’t think they second-guessed themselves at all. It just made me proud that they were so confident. It showed on the court that they wanted to be on the court and help us out. And Ursa, my setter, we gelled so well together. We’ve never really had a game that well together.

“We’re really strong and we’ve been consistently strong,” Perry said of the Gorham lineup. “Like, each of us can have an off game with somebody else having their best game, so it evens out…But it’s never been weak at all. I think we’re doing a really good job with that.”

The win bumped third-ranked Gorham to 9-2 on the autumn; the team welcomes Cape Elizabeth (third-ranked in Class B, at 7-3) on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

No. 14 Deering dropped to 1-10.

Gianna Romatis sets up a teammate. Adam Birt / American Journal

Chloe Russell (left) and Ellie Perry (right) block for the Rams. Adam Birt / American Journal

Skylar Prince unwinds for Gorham. Adam Birt / American Journal

Meg Perry blasts a ball back at her Deering opposition. Adam Birt / American Journal

Skylar Prince (left) and Caralin Mills (right) work the net for Gorham. Adam Birt / American Journal

Ainsley Christianson works at the net. Adam Birt / American Journal

Comments are not available on this story.