AUGUSTA — The Cony High School girls volleyball team may lose some games this season, but it will not be for lack of effort.

The Rams dropped a 25-13, 25-20, 25-14 decision to Gorham on Thursday night, yet for the most part, made sure the visiting Rams worked for their points.

“They definitely fought. They were chasing after every ball trying to get a touch,” Gorham coach Nicole Rizzo said. “They had some really good servers, which was giving us a tough time on serve-receive.

“They’re developing. They have the numbers, which is nice and they seem to be understanding the game better and making us earn our points. We had to earn points.”

Cony — which is coming off a 3-11 season — had some trouble getting going in the opening game Thursday night and midway through the second it seemed Gorham (2-1 Class A) would be in for a quick night with the visitors up 17-8.

After winning the serve back, though, Cony (1-2) gained some traction with sophomore Catherine Silva at the service line. Silva delivered an ace on her first serve and uncorked two more tough ones that helped cut the gap to 17-12.

The Augusta Rams managed to get as close as 21-19 — forcing a timeout from Rizzo — before Gorham regained its footing. Cony was still very much in the match down 23-20 when Gorham’s Kristen Curley helped seal the match for her team, first getting a block at the net for a point and then clinching the game with a top-spin serve just out of the reach of a diving Sarah Caron.

“That second game we hung with them the whole time but with a little bit of a funk in there, so we end up losing by four,” Cony coach Dennis Dacus said. “You’ve got to stay consistent and you can’t give a team like that a little bit of a break.”

Cony responded in fine fashion and jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the third game, and it was still in the match trailing 13-11 before Gorham put things away. The visitors went on to score 12 of the game’s final 15 points to secure the sweep. Curley paced Gorham with three aces and four kills, Diana Kolb notched 13 kills and Cassidy Landry finished with 31 assists.

While Cony could not pull out a win Thursday night, Dacus said he was still impressed with the way his team played.

“They were flying around keeping balls alive. They were communicating for the most part, never giving up, smiling for the most part even though we were down almost all three matches,” Dacus said. “What it really comes down to is skill level. We’re playing teams that play a lot more junior stuff, AAU stuff and our girls just don’t have that availability around here.

“But I could not ask for any more effort than what they gave (Thursday). I told them I think we tried harder than they did, but their skill level was a little hard to overcome.”

Outside of a postseason trip in 2013, playoff appearances have been hard to come for Cony in recent years. That being said, the Augusta Rams seem to be trending in the right direction. Four sophomores — Silva, Caron, Lauren Coniff and Hannah Kibbin — saw significant playing time in key roles for Cony on Thursday night, and Dacus said he has a few more underclassmen at the junior varsity level that he could see contributing in the years to come.

“Our team has been growing throughout the years,” Cony senior Jessica Rollins said. “I feel that we really improved in practice by working really hard and just giving it our all.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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