By: Luke Drase
Maine East needed a borderline miracle.
Trailing set two 24-21 to Addison Trail, after already losing the opening set, the Blue Demons needed to fend off three match points to force a third set.
They did just that. Maine East rallied to take the second set and eventually the match, defeating Addison Trail 21-25, 28-26, 25-22.
The Blue Demons started out extremely flat, enduring 9-3 and 17-11 deficits before finally settling into the game.
They managed to cut the gap to just two points at one point but it was a little too late, as Addison Trail calmly closed out the first set.
After the huddle, Maine East pounced on their opponent, taking complete control of the second set, maintaining a seven point lead for a majority of the frame.
“We talked after set one about just having a different mindset and just picking up our level of play,” said Maine East coach Kevin Bohn.
“We played really tight matches in the beginning of the season, and as a coach I expected more from the girls and I think they expected more from each other.”
With the score at 18-10 in favor of Maine East, the match seemed destined to go to a third set, but that’s when the everything was completely flipped on it’s head.
Addison Trail innocently rattled off three straight points to make it a 18-14 game. Maine East called a timeout but it did nothing to slow down the Blazers, especially outside hitter Nina Muell, who had the Demons number throughout the run.
The Blazers finally tied the game up at 21, and tacked on another three to give them three match points.
That’s when Maine East’s senior libero, and reigning CSL co-player of the year Madeline Sielski stepped to the service line.
Keeping her nerve, Sielski helped Maine East earn four straight points of their own to regain the lead before finally taking the second set 28-26.
Sielski, who finished with 21 digs on the night said: “When I was serving, I just took a couple of deep breaths and kept the same ritual. I did take some off my serve to make sure the ball stayed in, but I was still trying to hit the zone that Coach Bohn was giving me.”
Maine East carried the momentum from set two, into the final frame. Once again, the Blue Demons jumped out to an fast start but this time, they managed to contain Muell, never relinquishing the lead on their way to a relatively straight forward 25-22 win.
“We were able to get a couple stops which slowed her [Muell] down and I think we got in her head a little bit,” said Bohn.
“She’s a great player and she did have her share of kills but we made adjustments defensively and were able to get stops when we needed to.”
Alexis Ponzio led Maine East in kills with 8, while the two setters for Blue Demons chipped in both offensively and defensively. Kim Sergey finished with a double, double of 11 assists and 11 digs, while Erika Christiansen finished the night with 12 assists and 9 digs.
Maine East will face district rivals Maine South this upcoming Friday before beginning CSL North play next week.