BAR HARBOR — It was another nail-biter, but the Mount Desert Island High School varsity volleyball team came out ahead of the Washington Academy Raiders 3-2 at home Friday evening.
Two players were out with illness, but the Trojans rallied to win the first and fourth sets. By the end of the fourth, they had found a groove and cruised to a comfortable win in the tiebreaker. Scores were 25-21, 21-25, 22-25, 27-25 and 15-5.
“The way the girls came out in game five and fought for it, worked every point, that’s the way we should be playing all the time,” Coach Richard Grant said.
MDI won the first set 25-21, and Washington Academy answered by taking the second set by the same score. On both sides, lots of balls were going into the net or too long and out of bounds.
In the second set, MDI fought back from a 10-20 deficit with saves and serving from Ruby Brown and spikes from Alexis Clarito. The Trojans caught up to within three points, 21-24, but by then, the Raiders only needed one point for the game, and they made it happen.
The third set was even closer, with the teams fighting to 6-6, 10-10 and 15-15 ties. The Trojans were down 19-24 and caught a break when a WA serve went into the net, but only made up three points before the Raiders took the game 22-25.
MDI players ventured a few smiles as their communication seemed to improve as the fourth set began. They fought back from a 1-9 deficit on serving and a kill from Hannah Chamberlain, kills from Clarito and a tip from Mackenzie Hanna.
A long battle for the advantage came when the score reached 22-22. The Raiders came out ahead and pushed on to 22-24. It looked like they had won one more point and the match, but officials called it back, and Grant told his players, “The game’s not over!”
Clarito served. The WA return sent the ball so high, so fast that it became lodged in the gym ceiling.
The Trojans pushed on to take the set with a score of 27-25 and the tiebreaker fifth set 15-5.
“We go to five sets, the lightbulb goes off, and they turn it around,” Grant said. “We need to work on serve receive and on our defense. We’re trying to work on covering the hitters. We tend to stay back more and leave open the middle.”
MDI is now in fourth place in Class B with a 4-1 record. They were set to play Ellsworth on the road on Wednesday, and Machias on Wednesday, Sept. 27.