Cape Town volleyball ends Falmouth’s long winning streak
FALMOUTH â All good things must end and the Cape Elizabeth volleyball team were more than happy to end the Falmouth Navigators’ three-year, 31-game winning streak on Saturday afternoon.
With a dominant performance from start to finish.
The Capers never trailed in the opening set and won 25-17, as senior passer and captain Maeve McQueeney notched up half a dozen assists.
In Game 2, senior captain Anneliese Rudberg had nine straight serve points to open it and Cape Elizabeth won, 25-9.
Falmouth, the two-time defending Class A state champion, temporarily held a lead in the final set, but again the Capers opened it up and pulled away and won the match in straight sets thanks to a 25-19 victory.
Cape Elizabeth took just over an hour to move to 3-1 this season and in so doing, inflicted the Navigators their first loss in nearly three calendar years and brought them down to 2-1.
“It feels good to beat anybody,” Capers coach Sarah Boeckel said. âThe kids are excited. It really feels good to be back. It’s great to train every day and have games.
Two of the best
Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth have been as good as anyone over the past few seasons, with the Navigators winning Class A titles in 2018 and 2019 and the Capers advancing to the Class B final in those two years. before losing to Yarmouth.
In 2014 (Class A) and 2017 (Class B), Cape Elizabeth defeated Falmouth in the State Final Game.
After missing out on the 2020 campaign, the Capers and Navigators are set to return to action this season.
Cape Elizabeth started off by beating Gray-New Gloucester in straight sets and won at Greely, 3-1, before losing at home to nemesis Yarmouth on Thursday, 3-1.
âIt wasn’t our best game and (Yarmouth) made fewer mistakes than us and they deserved to win,â said Boeckel.
Falmouth, meanwhile, started off with a 3-0 win at Cheverus, then beat Bonny Eagle, 3-1, on Thursday for their 31st straight victory.
The teams last met on September 30, 2019, a thrilling straight-set road victory for Falmouth.
Coming in, Falmouth had won 11 of 17 all-time games.
On Saturday, the newly dubbed Navigators were hoping to do it again, but instead the Capers handed them their first loss since a 3-0 loss in Cape Elizabeth on September 18, 2018.
The Capers scored the first two points of the game and quickly took the lead 6-1 (on a kill by junior Madalynn Vaine, 7-2 (on a kill by Rudberg) and 10-2 (on another kill by Rudberg). ). back to 11-5 before Cape Elizabeth made it 15-6. A block from senior Mackenzie Nichols brought the hosts down to 15-9, but they couldn’t come close. Senior ace Anastasia Chepurko pushed the lead to 23-14 and after a kill from senior Emily Charest and a Nichols block the next point went to the Capers. A Nichols block kept the Navigators alive but Falmouth hit the ball to the point next and Cape Elizabeth made the jump with a 25-17 victory.
Nichols managed five blocks in Game 1, but Rudberg’s four kills were too difficult to overcome.
The second set started tight, but eventually the Capers pulled away.
A McQueeney ace helped Cape Elizabeth get away quickly. The Navigators tied the set at 2-2, 5-5, 7-7, but a Rudberg kill put the Capers in the lead for good. Vaine added a pair of aces to bring the score to 11-7 and after a service foul from Falmouth made Cape Elizabeth 12-8, Rudberg advanced to the service line. By the time she finished, the “12” under the Capers’ score read “21”. Rudberg had nine consecutive serve points, including three aces, and along the way she got help from Rasco and junior Maddie Simopolous.
âIt happens sometimes,â Rudberg said of his service. “My teammates have helped me increase my energy.”
âThis is the best we have seen (Annaliese) serve on a regular basis,â said Boeckel. âYou have a few under your belt and you are becoming more confident and aggressive. “
After Falmouth recovered a point, ending the run, McQueeney and Rasco had back-to-back kills and at set point the Navigators were unable to return the ball, giving the Capers a 25-9 victory and a 2-0 lead.
The Navigators refused to go quietly in Game 3, but Cape Elizabeth managed to shut it down.
The Capers got the first two points, punctuated by a McQueeney kill, but three straight points gave Falmouth their first lead of the game. The Navigators are also up, 5-4, but it’s as good as it could be for the hosts. With the game tied, 8-8, Cape Elizabeth got back-to-back points to move forward to stay. Falmouth came close at 15-14, but McQueeney scored back-to-back runs, Chepurko had a pair of kills including one on a long run, then Rudberg added a kill to open it at 22-14. The Navigators came down to 23-18 on a Charest kill, but after the teams traded service faults, a kill from junior captain Amy Rasco ended it and the Capers had the third set, 25- 19, and the game in just over an hour, 3-0.
âIt’s really nice to play,â said Rudberg. âI missed the game last year. We have a lot of familiar faces and a lot of new faces and it’s great to be together as a team. We were proud of ourselves for not allowing races. It’s a new team from Falmouth, but we want to challenge each team with what we have.
âWe’re very different from the last time we saw Falmouth and Falmouth struggle with injuries and still understand it,â said Boeckel. âDefensively we’re strong, and offensively we’ve got a lot of hitters on the field, a lot of options for Maeve.â
McQueeney finished with 19 assists and six serve points.
âMaeve is a great passer,â said Rudberg. âShe has good hands and she serves great balls. She is a vital player for us.
Rudberg had 11 serve points and seven kills.
Vaine had nine serve points, Simopolous added six serve points and Rasco had six kills and five serve points.
For Falmouth, Nichols led the way with five blocks, four serves and three kills.
Charest added five kills.
âYou can’t give Cape nothing,â said Navigators coach Larry Nichols. âCape is disjointed and they play excellent defense. Unfortunately at a few critical times we couldn’t push any higher and they had long service runs. We are a work in progress and we are putting people back in the queue. Communication was a problem today. We’re trying to fill in the gaps, but some of the mistakes we made in previous games weren’t as obvious today. We had some adjustments in the set that we followed which doesn’t always happen with a young team. Understanding increases every week.
âIt was a good race. The kids know we’ve lost three Dominant Elders, but there’s a tradition with the program and they want to go back to something like that. It’s a great feeling to have as a coach.
The fun continues
Falmouth is at rival Greely Tuesday as he hopes to bounce back, then heads to Portland on Friday.
âAll games look tough this year, but we’re thrilled to have a season,â said Nichols. âI try to keep that spirit. Where we end up in October, hopefully, is not where we are now. “
Cape Elizabeth faces another intimidating test Monday when Class A favorite Scarborough pays a visit. On Friday, the Capers host Wells.
âI think things are going really well,â Rudberg said. âWe hope to improve with every game over the season. We will take a day off, then we will resume fire on Monday.
âIt’s a tough turnaround with Scarborough on Monday,â Boeckel said. âThey have lots of guns. We need to block better and be smarter with the ball than today. I don’t think we’ve peaked yet and I think we’re getting better every day.
Sports editor Michael Hoffer can be contacted at [emailÂ protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.
Red Sox miss chance to gain ground in playoff race