East Providence High boys' volleyball team reaches mid-point of league schedule

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EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School boys' volleyball team reached the mid-point of its Division I regular season slate Thursday night, May 2, falling to visiting South Kingstown by a 3-2 score after rallying from a two-game deficit before  a raucous home crowd gathered for the crossover contest with the Rebels of the Southern bracket.

South, which won Games 1 and 2 by the scores of 25-20 and 25-23, had an answer themselves in the fifth and final game as the Rebels rallied from a 10-5 deficit to win the decider, 20-18. The Townies had leveled the match at two games apiece with 25-18 and 25-16 wins in Games 3 and 4.

The setback left the locals with a 5-3 record in the Division I-North standings. E.P.'s mark in crossover games fell to 1-2. The Townies are 4-1 within their subgroup. E.P. was tied for second place with Bishop Hendricken behind Mount St. Charles (6-2) in the I-North ranks.

"Things are going well, the team is starting to come together we are at the half-way point sitting at 5-3," veteran EPHS head coach Keith Martinous said of the season to date.

"Most of our offensive production is coming from our outsides, seniors Jacob Bedford and Brandon Pietruszka," he continued. "In the middle we have a senior John Vaughn III and a junior Lucas Flavin. We have run both a 6-2 and 5-1 (court formation) at times with the setters being junior Will Schofield and senior Jarrod DiCarlo. On the right side we have Jacob Perkins who has been an unbelievable blocker and offensive threat as well as senior Chris Barbosa."

Defensively, the Townies have received solid contributions for three players: senior libero Anthony Oliveira and junior libero Marlin DaCruz along with defensive specialist Mike Monagle.

"As you can see we are getting solid playing time from 11 different guys and we've used many different lineups," Coach Martinous added. "We are trying to fine tune the lineup as we move into the second half of the season and start to look towards playoffs."

The Townies were one-and-done in the Division I State Championship playoffs a year ago after finishing the regular season with an 8-8 record. Fifth-seeded East Providence fell to fourth-seeded North Kingstown in five games in the quarterfinals.

The Townies continue their crossover matches against teams from the Southern subgroup when they return to action Tuesday, May 7, in Coventry. The Knotty Oakers remain the lone unbeaten team in the league as they set the pace atop the I-South standings with an 8-0 mark. Match time is 6:30 p.m.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.