BIDDEFORD — It took more than two hours to decide the Class A volleyball state championship Saturday afternoon, as top-ranked Biddeford and No. 2 Scarborough engaged in a memorable duel.

Both teams fought back from deficits, but Scarborough had the final comeback. Facing a match point at 14-13 in the fifth set, the Red Storm won the final three points to capture the title and end Biddeford’s bid for a perfect season.

After losing the first set, Scarborough (16-2) won the next two. Biddeford (17-1) rallied in the fourth set, then was on the verge of its first championship since 2010 before the Red Storm completed a 20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 16-14 victory.

Scarborough outside hitter Natalie Moynihan, a freshman, scored the winning point, showing the confidence and calm that helped the Red Storm come from behind against an opponent that defeated them 3-1 during the regular season.

“I thought it could be the winning shot, but I knew if they blocked it, that was OK because my team would still back me up. They wouldn’t let the ball touch (or go out),” said Moynihan.

It’s the third straight championship for Scarborough, the runner-up in 2019. The Red Storm previously won in 2015 and 2017.


The match was a back-and-forth cliffhanger.

The Tigers led throughout the first set, often by as much as five or six points. Then the Red Storm turned the tables and led through most of the second set. The third set was close, but Scarborough won it for a 2-1 lead.

Then in the fourth set, the momentum swung dramatically toward Biddeford. With senior Audrey Kaminski serving, the Tigers went on a run that included two kills by Charlotte Donovan and a block by Baylor Wilkinson to make it 14-8. Then sophomore Danielle Emerson added a kill, and with Biddeford’s Addison Gerard serving, the Tigers won two more points for a 17-9 lead. 

Then it was Scarborough’s turn to fight back. A kill and an ace by Moynihan and two kills by Madeline Strouse cut into the deficit, and the Red Storm won five points in a row to pull within 24-22. Gwen Dorsey had a kill, Moynihan found a hole with a nice drop-in shot, and the Red Storm generally forced the Tigers to hit shots out or into the net.

A Kaminski kill finally closed out the set as Biddeford evened the match.

“The match was crazy … ,” said Scarborough’s Strouse, a senior middle who finished with 16 kills. “We wanted to stay cool and calm to pass well and hit hard. There definitely were a lot of errors in the match, and that was frustrating. But we didn’t let it rattle us. We brushed it off, and kept our focus.”


For most of the fifth set, every time Biddeford tied it, Scarborough regained the lead, as neither team went on an extended run. Strouse had two kills as well as a nice drop shot. Moynihan added a kill and a tip-in, and Elizabeth LeFebvre stepped up with a kill and a tip-in.

“We expected it to be a fantastic match,” said Scarborough Coach Kim Stoddard, who won her first title as head coach. “We knew either team could win. But I think the way we struggled back in the forth and won several points in a row, that put us in a mindset, it gave us confidence in ourselves. I’m so proud of them.”

Scarborough’s Moynihan finished with 12 kills and two aces. LeFebvre added five blocks and four kills.

Biddeford was fueled by Donovan, who tallied four kills, five blocks and an ace, and Emerson, who finished with nine kills and four aces. The Tigers finally forged ahead with two straight points for a 14-13 lead before Scarborough took the final three points.

“Their middle (Strouse) set us on our heels,” said Biddeford Coach Ruth Shaw. “They were on fire. It was their offense against our defense. We just got a little tentative. And they didn’t let up.”

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