Mounties spike East Providence in girls’ volleyball

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EAST PROVIDENCE — In a late-season meeting for first place on its side of the standings, the East Providence High School girls’ volleyball team suffered a 3-1 loss to visiting Mount St. Charles Tuesday night, Oct. 23, in a Division I-North match.
The Mounties improved to 12-2 in the I-North ranks, while also completing a season sweep of the now 11-3 Townies. Mount defeated E.P., 3-0, in the teams’ meeting back on Sept. 10 in Woonsocket.
The Mounties were the more proficient team all evening, spoiling the Townies’ Senior Night with a tremendous defensive effort and execution in the clutch. Mount won the match by the scores of 25-22, 21-25, 25-17 and 25-13.
Co-captains Lindsee Allienello and Mary Monagle were among the EPHS seniors honored prior to their final regular season home match. Classmates Lucianna Medici, Hannah Drolet, Isabel Newton, Thomeeka Speaks, Pattie Laliberte, Leah Drolet and Nicole Strik also were recognized prior to the contest.
“We played as we have probably in the matches you consider to be bigger matches. We play well for stretches and then for five or six points the serving goes, the passing goes and that breaks down the game,” said EPHS head coach Alex Butler.“In these types of matches you can’t afford to give up six or seven points on a serve and then come back and not pass the ball.”
The Townies looked like they were clicking on all cylinders early but as the match wore on they looked like they lost their focus a little bit and their play wasn’t as good.
In Game 1, East Providence built an early 4-0 lead and then went back and fourth with the Mounties for several points before Mount pulled away late to win by three. Medici, who played well at libero/defensive specialist for the locals, wasn’t quite able to keep a Mount kill attempt in the court on game point.
The Townies again built a lead to start Game 2 and fought point for point with the visitors before Allienello’s kill sealed the victory, leveling the match at one-all.
Mount was finally able to build an early advantage in Game 3 and remained ahead for most of the contest. E.P.’s service return began to falter about this time while the Mounties’ , especially senior co-captain and setter Carissa Gould, turned up their defensive effort. Another of the Mount’s senior captains, Meaghan Walsh, gave the visitors the win and the 2-1 lead with a two-hand quick tip at the net.
The Townies needed a win in Game 4 to stay alive, but it would not happen. The Mounties once more broke to the lead and never gave it up. Kills by Leah Drolet and Monagle gave the locals some hope late, but superb team defense and digging by Mount eventually put an end to the match. The third senior captain on the Mounties’ roster, Kelsey Gainor, sealed the win with a kill.
Coach Butler felt his team played well at certain points but then dropped through stretches of the game. He said the Townies didn’t pass the ball effectively. The coach also thought one of the reasons for his team’s loss was their service game was not good at all.
“When you get to games three and four the service game faltered tremendously. I think that those two games alone we had nine service errors and that’s a huge momentum swing. It takes you out of rotations and it fast fowards them to get in rotations they want to be in. Those are things we have to control,” he added.
Being Senior Night Coach Butler had strong feelings about the graduating seniors.
“They’re a tremendous group of girls. They work as hard as any team that we have had. But look the season dosen’t end tonight. We have practice tomorrow and we are going to work on the things we need to fix and go from there,” Coach Butler said.
Heading into the final regular season games and the playoffs the coach said his team needs to improve its focus and fortitude.
“I just said to the girls look this is a pattern that’s developed when you play in these bigger matches. We play well and they will go into a fog and that’s something we have to control,” Coach Butler continued. “We have to get a little bit stronger mental toughness and have a little bit more of a back bone to go out there and play. This isn’t new, most of our kids have been out there in semifinals and playoff games and they have to do it. They have to get it done,” coach Butler said.
The Townies have two more regular season matches before competing in the playoffs. East Providence next makes the short trip down Pawtucket Avenue to face neighboring Bay View Friday night, Oct. 26. at 6:30. Monday, Oct. 29, the Townies head to Ponaganset also at 6:30 p.m.
Editor’s Note: Mathew Galvao is an EPHS senior, writing as part of the collaborative between The East Providence Post and the school news site, thetownie.net.

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