EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School boys' volleyball team started its Division II home encounter with Lincoln Thursday night, May 18, well, but the visiting Lions quickly turned …
EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School boys' volleyball team started its Division II home encounter with Lincoln Thursday night, May 18, well, but the visiting Lions quickly turned the tide en route to a rather decisive 3-1 victory.
"I thought that Lincoln played very well," said EPHS head coach Dan Cabral. "I thought they had more energy and effort than we did. And they are a much improved team since the last time we played them."
DJ Lepine led the locals with 15 kills. Xavier Graca added eight.
The Townies showed a good amount of hustle and resolve in the opening game of the evening, which remained close throughout before the hosts rallied late to earn a 26-24 win. Graca finished off the set for the locals with a kill off an attempted double block by the Lions.
From there, however, Lincoln exerted complete control of the contest. The Lions, one of the tallest teams in the league and the state for that matter, dominated all aspects as they raced to large leads in the remaining three sets. They took Game 2 by a 25-9 count, Game 3 by a 25-14 score and Game 4 by a 25-11 tally.
"Game 1, I thought our passing was much better. Game 2, I thought our passing was not there. And when the passing is not there, everything else kind of falls apart. We had over pass after over pass after over pass. You can't really set the ball from the 10, 15 foot line. It's hard," Cabral said of the difference in the Townies' play throughout the match.
Lincoln's win avenged a 3-2 home setback to the Townies nearly a month ago to the day, April 20, and brought the Lions into a three-way tie with East Providence and Central for fourth place in the league standings. Each team, which has qualified for the upcoming D-II championship playoffs, ended the night with 7-7 records and with two games remaining on their regular season schedules.
The Townies split with both sides. Lincoln beat Central, 3-1, in its first meeting of the year and plays the Knights as one of their final two outings next week. East Providence is home for 2-12 Toll Gate on Senior Night for the Townies May 24, then travels to first-place neighbor Barrington (13-1) for its 2023 regular season finale May 26. Both matches start at 6:30 p.m.
Cranston West, at 13-2, and Westerly, at 10-4, held the second and third spots in the standings at the close of last week. Six teams total appeared likely to compose the league championship playoffs that start Memorial Day week.