GORHAM — Baylor Wilkinson found the holes down the stretch and Danielle Emerson continued to pound kills as the top-ranked Biddeford prevailed over No. 3 Gorham in three sets Friday night to win its first Class A volleyball state championship since 2010. 

A year after an undefeated Tigers team fell to Scarborough in five sets in the state final, Biddeford again took an unbeaten record into the championship match, but this time finished off a perfect season, winning 25-21, 25-16, 26-24. 

“We’ve only had one match go past three sets this year. We’re not conditioned to play more,” Wilkinson said with a laugh. “After the last timeout, we just focused on ending that set. I haven’t sweated so much in my life.”

The Tigers (17-0) went into the third set with all the momentum after leading for most of the first two sets. But a relentless Gorham squad stormed back from a big deficit in the third.

Biddeford ran its lead up to 14-4 on two aces by Addison Girard, an ace and a kill from Laura Perreault, and three kills and an ace from Emerson.

But the Rams found their rhythm and turned up the pressure, forcing Biddeford out of its system. It started with a kill from Summer Gammon, that was followed by a block from Meryk Lewellen and an ace from Gammon to make it 14-7. As Biddeford started to hit the ball out, Lewellen made three kills to pull the Rams within two at 16-14.


Wilkinson responded with a huge block and a quick-action hit. But then the Tigers came unglued and hit it out or into the net four times. An Emerson kill and subsequent ace kept Biddeford in front, but the two teams traded points until Biddeford Coach Ruth Shaw called a timeout with the score 21-21.

After Gorham hit the ball into the net, a Wilkinson tip-in made it 23-21. Gorham’s Lewellen answered with a kill, and when Biddeford hit it out on the next point, it was tied again. But Wilkinson again found a hole with a light touch, and two points later she stepped up again with a huge block to end the match.

“This is the fourth state final I’ve played in between softball and volleyball,” Wilkinson said. “We just wanted to get it done.”

She finished with six blocks and three aces, while Emerson led Biddeford with 10 kills and two aces. Girard, who proved cool and calm behind the service line, had eight aces. 

Shaw said with five returning starters that included Emerson, Wilkinson, Girard, Charlotte Donovan and Perreault, she was not surprised how focused her squad stayed all season.

“This was a total team effort,” Shaw said. “It’s hard to go (through) a season undefeated again. I’m proud of the girls. They wanted this all season. When it was tied 21-21, I told them it’s just zero-zero. Just go in and play like it’s the start of the set.”

Gorham (14-3) was making just its second appearance in the state final; the Rams lost to Falmouth in 2018.

“The way we played in the third set is how we should have played in the first two,” Coach Emma Tirrell said. “They put pressure on us. But in that third set, we had control.”

Gorham was led by Amber Bretton, who had eight kills and three blocks, and Lewellen, who had five kills, four blocks and an ace.

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