YARMOUTH—Yarmouth’s volleyball team is back in action and having fun and when the Clippers have fun, rest assured that the opposition doesn’t have much of its own.

Friday evening at Harrison Middle School, Yarmouth hosted Windham and for the fourth time in this abbreviated, wedge season rolled to a 3-0 victory.

Senior Margaret McNeil, best known for her excellence on the basketball court, served 10 straight points in a 25-7 first game win, served up 10 more in a 25-9 second set victory, then produced six more as the Clippers, two-time reigning Class B state champions, closed it out in set number three, 25-12. 

McNeil led the way with 26 service points, junior setter Sophie Dickson finished with 16 assists and senior Maggie Murray added 10 kills as Yarmouth kept the good times rolling by winning for the 20th straight outing and dropping the Eagles to 0-4 in the process.

“It was a good night,” said Clippers coach Jim Senecal. “We played well. We kept the ball off the floor, played well defensively and we have a lot of power on our front line. We’re trying to prepare and get better all the time. I think we are.”

Grateful for an opportunity

Yarmouth won the 2018 and 2019 Class B championships and would have been favored to three-peat had there been a normal season with playoffs this fall, but the Clippers were only able to play outside before finally getting some inside matches this spring.

Yarmouth started by twice beating Bonny Eagle by 3-0 scores and did the same at Windham Monday.

The Eagles lost twice to two-time reigning Class A champion Falmouth by 3-0 scores, then dropped a 3-0 home match to Yarmouth Monday.

Friday, in  match played at Harrison Middle School instead of Yarmouth High, the Clippers were in control throughout.

All of Yarmouth’s strengths were on display in the first game, as senior captain Avery Dube thwarted the best Windham shots, the Clippers got long service runs from McNeil and Dickson and Dickson’s pinpoint passing set up Murray for seven kills.

The Eagles scored the first point of the match, but six straight from Yarmouth sent the Clippers on their way to victory. Dickson served up five of the points and Murray delivered her first kill along the way. Windham got as close as 9-4, but senior captain Kaitlyn Bennett delivered consecutive kills and Dickson had another to make it 12-4. An ace from senior Lydia Budroe pulled the Eagles within 12-6, but Murray began to take over. Murray’s first kill made it 15-7 and brought McNeil to the service line. Two more Murray kills pushed Yarmouth’s advantage to 18-7 and forced Windham coach Chuck Fleck to call timeout.

It didn’t help, as Murray had another kill and McNeil served up three aces en route to closing out the game with her 10-point service run and the Clippers took the first set, 25-7.

In the second game, Windham hung tough early, took a 4-3 lead and only trailed, 8-7, after a kill from Budroe, but after a kill from senior captain Kaitlyn Bennett, McNeil got an opportunity to step to the service line again and again, she dominated, rattling off 10 consecutive points, including three straight aces, to open it up to 19-7.

“I’ve worked on spot serving in practice and it worked tonight,” McNeil said. “I just got on a roll. I try to look for gaps or hit it higher on their bodies and it worked tonight.” 

“(Serving’s) not something (Margaret’s) known for on our team, but she’s getting a lot of service points,” said Senecal. “She’s smart at the service line, looking for gaps and weaknesses. It’s good to see. She’s such a great athlete. Her instincts are really strong. 

A kill from Eagles senior captain Ellen Files ended the run, but Yarmouth took a 23-9 lead on a kill from junior Allie McClafferty, then Bennett finished off the set with two straight aces, including one where the ball hit the top of the net, then dropped to end it, 25-9.

“We spend a lot of time in practice on serving,” said Bennett. “Coach is adamant we get our serving time.”

The Eagles refused to go quietly in the third game, taking leads of 1-0 and 2-1 early, but the Clippers gradually seized control.

Dube rattled off five straight service points, including three aces, to make it 11-3. Windham pulled within 14-7 before Yarmouth tallied the next point and that brought McNeil back to the service line again. This time, she managed six straight points for a 21-7 lead. The Eagles battled back to 23-12, but a Windham service fault set up match point and the Eagles couldn’t return the ensuing serve, bringing the match to an end. 

Windham got three kills and an ace from Budroe and three assists from sophomore Abby Cochrane.

“We’re getting better every time out,” said Fleck. “Yarmouth has some very good servers and hitters. We need to be able to read that, then run the offense we know we can run.” 

Windham will host Scarborough Monday, then goes to Gorham Wednesday of next week. A couple matches versus Cape Elizabeth also loom.

“I hope we continue to improve and work on fundamentals and work on some things that will probably surprise some teams we haven’t seen yet,” Fleck said. “I think we can be a contender next fall.”

The fun continues

Yarmouth has a huge week upcoming, with a trip to Cape Elizabeth Monday, a home match versus Falmouth Wednesday, then a trip to Falmouth on April 3.

“Everyone’s pretty excited to play because we thought we wouldn’t get a season at all,” said Bennett. “It’s nice to have a final season for the seniors. Now we get to play teams who are top competitors for us. That’s exciting. We’ll have as much fun as we can.”

“Those matches will be huge,” McNeil said. “I’m really looking forward to them. They’ll be high-energy and fun.”

“We’re looking forward to next week when we start playing some of our rivals,” Senecal added. “The kids are ready. I’ve enjoyed the year. Obviously, I wish there was some kind of tournament, but we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to play. This team just loves to play so much. To have a six-week opportunity to practice and play has been great. The kids are a joy to be with and they love the game. We’ve got a lot of young kids. We know we lose a lot of great players, but we feel good about where we’ll be next year.”

Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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