BIDDEFORD — The Biddeford High volleyball is very good. Coach Ruth Shaw hopes her Tigers never figure out just how talented they are.

“I’ve been coaching since 1999, this program, and I’m telling you these are the sweetest girls. They’re so coachable and they have great skill. They just don’t know it,” Shaw said. “There’s no egos. They’re very much a unit, and I think that makes all the difference out there.”

Biddeford, the defending Class A state champion, passed a tough early season test Wednesday with a 3-1 victory over defending Class B state champion Yarmouth. The Tigers took the first set, 25-18. Yarmouth won the second, 27-25, before Biddeford closed out the match in a pair of close sets, 25-17 and 25-22.

“The energy from the bench and on the court was really great today. At times, we were really flat, and we were all leaders on the court and we pushed ourselves to be better, especially when we were down a few points,” said Biddeford senior Danielle Emerson, last season’s Varsity Maine Player of the Year. “Our energy shifted as soon as we settled. We started smiling and having fun. That’s just what we do, I guess.”

“It was a really good test of who could keep the ball off the floor the longest, I felt. Just a really good challenge for us. This year, with our tough schedule, this really prepares us for the next one,” said Erin Quirk, Yarmouth’s first-year head coach.

With Biddeford (2-0) ahead 21-16 in the fourth set, the Clippers (1-1) reeled off four straight points. A serve into the net snapped Yarmouth’s run, and Biddeford scored four of the final six points to clinch the match.


To Shaw, the victory came down to reminding her team to have fun.

“When we make a mistake, the tendency is to really feel bad and focus on the mistake, and (then) make another mistake,” Shaw said. “We tried to move beyond that. You play one point at a time, and I think that’s why these girls play so well.”

The Tigers trailed 5-1 early in the first set before finding their groove. In a tight third set, Biddeford took an early lead and held off Yarmouth rallies.

Emerson finished with seven aces, 18 kills and 27 assists. Sophomore Maeve Donovan had 11 kills, while Addison Girard recorded 46 assists.

Down 22-17 in the second set, Biddeford rallied to take a 23-22 lead before the Clippers regrouped to win the set.

“I felt Biddeford really challenged us and pushed us to our limits. They beat us on some tipping, and they were putting it to good spots,” Quirk said. “As soon as we thought we knew what they were doing, they would change it up. They played really smart and put it to the spots we had wide open.”

Like Quirk, Shaw came away with the feeling her team will be better for playing a tough contest against a strong opponent.

“They’re almost a mirror image of us. The play with that same intensity. They go for every ball. It’s fun to play like that,” Shaw said.

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