MDI’s Molly Ritter leaps for a kill during a high school volleyball match against GSA on March 19 in Blue Hill. Ritter had seven aces, six kills and four digs for the Trojans in last Thursday’s win over Nokomis. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Volleyball season comes to an end

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island volleyball team’s season came to an end last week, but not before the Trojans secured a winning record by claiming a victory in their first pod playoff match.

Last Thursday, third-ranked MDI claimed a four-set win over sixth-ranked Nokomis in a PVC Class B play-in round contest in Bar Harbor. The Trojans dropped the opening set but won the remaining three to book a spot in the pod semifinals.

After Nokomis took a 7-2 lead in the opening set, MDI rebounded with 16 of the next 22 points to pull ahead 18-12. Yet the visiting Warriors (4-6) fought back to retake the lead at 22-21 and fought off the Trojans over the next five points to claim a 25-23 win.

MDI dominated the second set to claim a 25-13 and even the match at one game apiece. The Trojans then fended off Nokomis 25-23 in the third set and breezed to a 25-12 victory in the fourth set to claim their sixth win of the season.

MDI got top efforts from seniors Victoria Del Cid and Nevaeh Warren, who posted one ace, 23 assists and four digs and seven aces, nine kills and one assist, respectively. Addy Boyce (six aces, eight kills, two assists and one dig) and Molly Ritter (seven aces, six kills and four digs) also contributed for the Trojans in the win.

“Nokomis came out really strong to start the match, and that was a challenge for us,” MDI head coach Corey Papadopoli said. “Once we got going, we really played some great volleyball. It was really fun to watch.”

MDI returned to action the following day as it took on Brewer in the pod semifinals. Playing on the road against a Brewer team that had lost just once all season, the Trojans (6-5) claimed decisive victory in the first set before the Witches won the next three games to book a place in the title match.

MDI and Brewer kept pace with one another in the first set with neither team leading by more than two points throughout the game. With the Trojans leading 24-23, Addie Boyce delivered the set-winning kill to give the visitors first blood.

The second-ranked Witches, though, would justify their status as one of the conference’s top teams over the next three sets. After winning 25-19 in the second set and 25-18 in the third, Brewer ran out to a 13-1 lead in the fourth set before sailing to a 25-13 win and advance to the pod final.

“We started out strong in the first set, but I think the fatigue of the season really set in for us,” Papadopoli said. “Between COVID and all the other things, these girls really had a lot thrown at them, and it was hard to handle. I’m really proud of them for handling it as best they could.”

Brewer (10-2) would fall to top-ranked Washington Academy in three sets in Saturday’s championship match in East Machias. Washington Academy finished the season a perfect 12-0.

As for MDI, Friday’s match was the last for seniors Del Cid, Warren and Acadia Jones. But with the Trojans set to return Boyce, Ritter, Meredith Cook, Claire Moore and other key players, the team should be positioned well for another run in the fall.

“It’s always tough to lose your seniors, but this year’s group was especially great,” Papadopoli said. “For the players coming back, I hope they can build on the way they persevered through this tough season when next year comes.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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