Mount opened the match with a 25-18 victory then added a 26-24 decision in Game 2. East Providence staved off the shutout with a 25-21 win the third game before the Mounties closed out the victory with a 28-26 win Game 4.
East Providence entered the season in search of replacements for the seven seniors lost to graduation from last spring’s squad that finished atop the I-North standings with a 12-4 record. The Townies defeated Chariho in the opening round of the 2013 playoffs before being swept by eventual runner-up South Kingstown in the semifinals. Coventry defeated the Rebels for the state title.
Long-time EPHS head coach Keith Martinous said he plans to employ a 6-2 offensive set this spring, utilizing a pair of setters. Senior Will Schofield and junior Cody Resendes man those all-important spots on the floor.
Seniors Lucas Flavin and Nick Cangiano fill the middle hitter/blocker positions. Sophomore Brett Dailey along with seniors Melvin DaCruz and Ryan Vieira are the outside hitters. Junior Chris Hermanowski is the right-side blocker/hitter.
Defensively, junior Mike Monagle is the Townies’ “libero.” Seniors Nick Lopes, Anthony Andrade and Marlin DaCruz will also see time off the bench as defensive replacements in the East Providence rotation.
“We should be middle of the pack for D-I, hopefully securing one of the final playoff spots,” Coach Martinous said of the Townies’ 2014 prospects. “The key to this team’s success is going to be passing consistently and communication.”
As was the case last season under the first year of the current alignment, the top four teams in the final standings of the I-North and I-South subgroups will qualify for the playoffs.
Last week, East Providence prepared for the regular season by participating in the annual Injury Fund scrimmage against the same Mount side as well as traditional power Hendricken. The Townies won both of their their three-game outings, besting the Mounties by a 2-0 score and the Hawks by a 2-1 count.