Epic Effort In Last Game Not Enough For Falmouth Volleyball
By: Rich Maclone, November 6, 2013
Twice during the regular season the Falmouth and Dennis-Yarmouth High School volleyball teams met in league play. On Saturday night, in South Yarmouth, the squads met again with far more on the line than a regular season league win.
Falmouth and D-Y, which split those regular season contests, battled in the first round of the state tournament, and each team played like it could be their last match. For the Clippers, it was. The Dolphins won two of the first three games and then survived an epic fourth game to eliminate the Clippers from the state tournament, 3-1. D-Y won the first game, 25-20, but the Clippers rallied to take the second game by a similar score, 25-19.
In the third game, the teams turned up their level of play as was evident on a spectacular series of events early in the game that saw Marianna Moore come up with a huge block against D-Y’s Grace Stafford. D-Y sent the ball back across the net and Tess Pimental came up with a huge stop, with her dig landing on D-Y’s side for a point. That started a charge that saw FHS come back to tie the score on 9-9 on an ace by Sarah Buscher. Unfortunately for FHS, that was the end of the good vibes in the third game as the Dolphins seized control with a run that saw them score 10 of the next 14 points before taking game three 25-16.
The final game was as good as tournament volleyball gets. D-Y won the game, and the match, with a 28-26 score, but the road to that score was exciting for both sides as each team staved off a game point along the way. Game four started out looking as if the Dolphins would run away with the game, and match, as they jumped to a 7-2 lead. FHS reeled them back in and made it close, though, as they rallied back to within two points on several occasions before tying it up at 10-all when the Dolphins were cited for a carry. Along with being tied early at 2-2, that tie at 10-10 was just the beginning of a seesaw affair in which neither team could mount much of an advantage on the other.
Over the course of the game the teams found themselves deadlocked 13 times, with ties at: 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25 and 26. During the course of the close game, the Dolphins always seemed to be the aggressors as the Clippers continually clawed back to even. The Clippers finally took their first lead of the game at 12-11, when Moore dropped an ace down the middle, but the Dolphins came back to score the next two points to get the lead back. Falmouth got the lead back again the next time the serving circuit reached Moore, as she again dropped an ace in to put FHS ahead, 22-21. D-Y got the lead back and scored three straight with a Stafford ace giving them their first match point, at 24-22.
Facing elimination, the Clippers came up with some big plays. Stafford helped matters when her attempt to serve out the match resulted in an over-launched serve that airmailed the back line. Pimental then served the ball over, despite heckles from the partisan crowd, and Taylor Miller came up with a big block against Breann McGee to knot things up at 24. FHS then pushed ahead and was a point away from tying the match up at two games each on two occasions. A huge dig by Pimental preceded a mis-hit by the Dolphins’ Kayla Ralston to make it 25-24 in Falmouth’s favor, but then McGee smashed a winner to tie it at 25. FHS went back up 26-25 when Miller spiked one from the front row, but that would be the last point of the Clippers’ season as D-Y scored the next three to move on. With a chance to win the game, Falmouth mis-hit a serve. McGee then dropped a bomb through the Clippers’ defense to set up match point and then a missed pass by the Clippers fell to the floor to end the season. The Clippers end the year at 10-9 overall.