CAPE ELIZABETH — Sarah Boeckel had seen enough.

Even though her third-ranked Cape Elizabeth volleyball team won the first two sets of Tuesday’s Class B quarterfinal against No. 6 Greely, the Capers came out lethargically in the third game and fell behind, 7-3.

So Boeckel, Cape Elizabeth’s veteran coach, called timeout, got her message across and her team responded with a 12-point run to finish off a 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-20) victory.

Cape Elizabeth improved to 12-4 and advanced to face No. 2 Gardiner in the semifinals on Thursday. The Rangers finish 10-6.

“We’d talked about kicking it up a notch after the second game, but we were a little lackadaisical and they were doing a good job keeping the ball in play,” said Boeckel. “Then (after the timeout), we went on a long run. It’s late in the season and you can’t get lazy.”

The Capers broke open a close first set behind the serving of captain Amy Rasco and Cayden Royall. They finished it off behind a kill and an ace from Annaliese Rudberg.

Cape Elizabeth took control of the second game behind a pair of aces from Maeve McQueeny, who was even more impressive with her setting. McQueeny had 11 assists in the set, setting up Rudberg for eight kills. A kill from Rasco gave the Capers their 25th point and they appeared to be in control of the match.

But Greely refused to go quietly, taking leads of 3-0 and 7-3, forcing Boeckel to take her timeout. After getting the next point, Cape Elizabeth sent Royall to the service line and she stayed there for the next 11 points. Royall served up four aces to give her team a 15-7 lead. The Rangers never got closer than four points before the Capers closed out the match in just over an hour.

“This was really big for us,” Rudberg said. “We were excited to come out here and get the ‘W’.”

McQueeny paced Cape Elizabeth with 20 assists, while Rudberg added 14 kills.

“Once I can get the ball to Annaliese at the net, she kills it every time,” said McQueeny.

Jordan Bickford had three aces for Greely.

“We pushed them a little bit. I wish we’d been able to push them a little more,” said Rangers Coach Kelvin Hasch. “We just made some untimely mistakes.

“I’m happy with where we ended up this season. I didn’t think we had this much potential at the start.”

Cape Elizabeth didn’t face undefeated Gardiner this year and will have to play on the Tigers’ home court Thursday with a trip to states hanging in the balance.

“I hear (Gardiner) does a really good job keeping the ball in play,” Boeckel said. “I’m hoping we can go in and serve really tough and run our strong offense. If we can do that, we should be OK.”


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