BAR HARBOR — With its season coming down to the wire, the Mount Desert Island High School junior varsity volleyball team delivered its best win yet.
During its Oct. 13 match against Calais, MDI found itself in a difficult spot. The team had lost a decisive first set to the Blue Devils, and the situation looked as if it was about to get worse when Calais took a seven-point lead in the second set.
Yet the Trojans found a way back. After coming back to win the second set, MDI ground out a 26-24 victory in the third to seal an improbable win.
“That was a great way to cap off the year,” Coach Michael Curry said. “We got better with every game, and being able to come back like that showed how much our players persevered.”
Under Curry, each of the team’s 14 players saw significant playing time. MDI finished with a 5-8 record, but preparing a new generation of volleyball players for the varsity level was of more importance.
“We won two of our last three to end the year after we changed formations,” Curry said. “We switched from a 6-3 to a 6-2, which is what varsity players are more used to seeing. It really paid off for us.”
Nine of the team’s 14 players were freshman. The roster consisted of Maddie Buzzell, Nevaeh Warren, Kylie Higgins, Ella Davis, Victoria Del Cid, Bella Ross, Emma Stanley, Kaitlyn Tompkins, Ella Hubbard, Gillian Carroll, Lexi Rich, Kate Hoff, Bella Walke and Olivia Gray.
Curry said he placed particular emphasis on serving, which improved as the season went on. The team served 78 percent overall, and Del Cid and Stanley served over 90 percent.
“That’s a huge mark for accuracy,” Curry said. “Serving is one of the most important things at the varsity level, and it’s important for JV players to build that skill.”
Some of Curry’s players will make the step up to the varsity team when the time comes for tryouts next August. When that happens, a new set of MDI freshman will learn the skills they need to compete at the high school level.
“The important thing is to see that development,” Curry said. “I saw it all season long, and these players are only going to keep getting better.”