DUXBURY — When Duxbury was starting its volleyball season in August, coach Pam Thomas preached daily improvement, but deep down she knew this team had the pieces in place to win a state title.
The Dragons set high expectations, and so far they’ve matched them, if not exceeded them, every step of the way.
“It’s been how we had envisioned it,” Thomas said.
After a smooth, 3-0 win over 13th-seeded Notre Dame Academy (12-10) at home on Wednesday, top-seeded Duxbury (22-1) is one win against 11th-seeded Milton, a 3-0 winner over Norwood, from claiming its first sectional title in program history and one step closer to its ultimate goal.
The Dragons rallied in the first set (25-20), went wire to wire in the second (25-19), and dominated in the third (25-11) to advance to the Division 2 South final.
“We all really, really, really want it,” senior captain Jill Cosgrove said. “It’s the want that drives us.”
Cosgrove, the libero, got into a rhythm with setter Kerry Pisani and outside hitter Rachel Melampy as the match progressed. Duxbury trailed, 17-14, in the opening set, but stormed back thanks to an 11-3 run.
In the second, Becca Melampy and Caroline Curley got going to help the Dragons prevail. They won four in a row on Emma Sheehan’s serves in the third set, and Kaitlyn Barrett’s spike clinched it.
Notre Dame Academy had won the sectional title each year these Duxbury seniors had gunned for it, but this time it’s the Dragons’ to savor.
“It’s incredible,’’ Melampy said. “First time beating them in playoffs ever, so it’s awesome. It feels amazing.”