Gray-New Gloucester’s Mackenzie Gervais sets the ball for a teammate during a volleyball game in September against Edward Little in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

GRAY — Mackenzie Gervais completed 88% of her serves this season at Gray-New Gloucester. This success rate doesn’t surprise coach Gary Powers, who said Gervais performed since day one of her high school volleyball career.

“I knew she had the potential, that’s why I always tell the kids when I see the potential, ‘It’s up to you guys to work to get to that potential,’” Powers said. “She’s done everything I’ve asked while being the setter, which is really one of the most difficult jobs on the team. You get passes that aren’t the best that you’re expected to make a good setup, and that’s tough.”

Gervais said she has been playing volleyball since she was 11 years old. Her impressive senior season stats — which include completing 220 out of 227 serves, 61 aces, 38 kills, 113 digs and 671 sets with 271 assists — were a product of hard work and muscle memory.

“I kind of just try my hardest to focus on the little things I need to think about while going back to serve,” Gervais said. “I think about the other team and how they play, and figure out what they see and what I see on their side of the court. If I see an open spot, and we’re in a tie game or something, I try to aim for that one spot.”

Powers said Gervais was Gray-New Gloucester’s setter for each of her four years because he could rely on her to execute. He called her “dynamite on the court.”

Gervais was a four-year starter for the Patriots and earned first-team Western Maine Conference recognition her junior and senior seasons. She also has been selected as the Sun Journal’s All-Region Volleyball Player of the Year.


But when Gervais looks back on her high school volleyball career, her favorite part isn’t the accolades or stats, but rather the support of her teammates on the court.

“I feel for me, my favorite part is just playing in general,” Gervais said. “I’ve always loved the sport, and my favorite thing was always cheering and helping each other. Even if the team is down, always trying to pick each other up to tell each other, ‘Oh, that’s a good job,’ and working our hardest as a team and even as individuals, cheering each other on and like having all that energy, like way up, and just playing and having fun.”

Powers has coached the Patriots for all of Gervais’ four years, as well as her club team, Maine Juniors. Patriots assistant coach Mindy Bard is Gervais’ mom. Powers said Gervais is extremely coachable, fun to watch, hardworking and upbeat.

“I mean, I don’t think there was a day in practice where she didn’t come in and give me a wave,” Powers said. “She’s just a nice, nice kid. I would take a team of her in a heartbeat. She listens, she applies corrections and she’s always upbeat. There’s never been a day where I’ve seen her — she may get down on herself, but never on another teammate.”

What might surprise people the most about Gervais, according to Powers, is how powerful her ball control is on the court, specifically when serving.

“She rockets that ball, and to set the ball from one side of the court to the other court, you know, she’s just a heads up player,” Powers said. “Some people don’t realize when they see she’s this little twig, but she’s very surprising.”


The two-year captain said her fondest memory from playing volleyball for the Patriots was being taken under the wing of Madison Knight, who was two years older. Gervais said Knight befriended her when she was new to Gray-New Gloucester High School and did not know many people.

Gray-New Gloucester’s Mackenzie Gervais, left, returns an Edward Little serve as teammate Cassandra Coppertino, right, looks on during a September match in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“I think a lot of the friendships that I got in and even just being in the gym and playing and having that big feeling … it’s going to be hard not to have anymore,” Gervais said, reflecting on what she’ll miss most.

Her volleyball career might not be over yet, as she is working through the college recruitment process with a couple of schools in mind. Powers said what’s most important to Gervais is getting a good education, but he would not be surprised if she was able to play volleyball at the collegiate level.

“I still want to be able to play in college, and I’ve definitely been looking,” Gervais said. “There’s a couple of colleges that I’ve been really focused on, and trying to communicate with the coaches and figure out if there’s a way I can meet them or talk to them about playing.

“I mean, for me, it’d be hard to picture myself not playing in college.”

As for this past season, despite the Patriots not making it to the playoffs, Gervais said she’s proud of how much the team grew and how united the players were on the court.

“Looking back at the season, there wasn’t a time that I can think of that we didn’t try our hardest or we didn’t really push each other,” Gervais said. “We were good friends, all of us worked together, we tried our best and focused on the good things.”

Powers said Gervais has been a cornerstone of the program since it began — Gray-New Gloucester began playing varsity when she was a freshman — and it will be difficult to replace her presence on the court next season.

“When you’re trying to build a program, you make sure you have a team that gels, and that the six on the court are working together. I can always count on her to do that,” Powers said.

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