Coach Steve McGinley and his Calais Blue Devils knew they were capable of beating Washington Academy of East Machias and proved it Saturday.
Second-seeded Calais defeated the top-ranked Raiders in five games to claim the State Class B volleyball championship at Harrington.
The score was 22-25, 25-14, 24-26, 27-25, 15-9.
It was the first title for Calais and the first championship game for Class B.
The Blue Devils trailed 10-2 in the fourth game but rallied to win 27-25 and force a decisive fifth game.
“That gave us a lot of momentum going into the last game,” said McGinley, who is in his 23rd year of coaching at Calais.
Calais took the final game 15-9 to win the title. But it was Washington Academy who had Calais’ number during the regular season.
“They have a little more quickness than we do, but we have better size,” said McGinley. WA swept Calais, 3-0 and 3-1, during the regular season.
“I knew that WA would definitely be a tough one, and we didn’t take them for granted by any means, but I knew we were capable of winning,” said McGinley.
The Blue Devils were in the same situation last year when the Raiders swept Calais in the regular season, but lost to Calais in the Class A Eastern Maine semifinals. Calais would then lose in the Eastern Maine final to Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor.
A repeat run to the championship game wasn’t a given as Calais graduated its best player in Lara Marshall. Someone had to step up.
Junior Rebecca Redding would be that player and converted from a back-line defender to a front-line setter.
“It took a little while for that to click, but by midseason, we really started to peak,” said McGinley.
Redding stepped up Saturday as well.
“She really controlled our tempo,” said McGinley. “She did an outstanding job at running our offense as well as our defense.”
Redding totaled 22 assists and 11 digs.
Senior Nicole Osborne chipped in nine kills and 15 digs and fellow senior Rebecca Blake had six kills.
“We did a really good job on the back line at digging balls out,” said McGinley. “Our serving was really key.”
Kat Clement was 24-for-24 serving with five aces.
Stefani Jones paced the Raiders with 12 assists, eight aces and five digs. Taylor Davis added 10 kills and 11 digs.
No. 2 Calais (11-5) def. No. 1 Washington Academy (14-2) 22-25, 25-14, 24-26, 27-25, 15-9
Calais: Rebecca Redding 4 kills, 22 assists, 11 digs; Nicole Osborne 3 aces, 9 kills, 15 digs, 6 blocks; Rebecca Blake 6 kills, 2 blocks; Shannon Brown 7 kills, 25 digs; Kathleen Clement 24-24 serving, 5 aces, 4 kills, 27 digs; Rachel Cundiff 9 digs; Kayla Snyder 10-11 serving, 3 aces
Washington Academy: Stefani Jones 3 kills, 12 assists, 8 aces, 5 digs; Taylor Davis 10 kills, 3 aces, 11 digs, 2 blocks; Taylor Seeley 4 kills, 6 blocks; Janelle Tinker 7 kills, 3 aces, 6 digs