Champs roll to win in opener

JHS boys volleyball sweeps Times2


The Johnston boys volleyball team looked primed to defend its Division III title when it swept host Times2 Academy 3-0 on Monday afternoon in Providence.
The Panthers haven’t lost a match since 2022 as they look to remain atop the standings. Johnston graduated all six of its starters from last season and is looking for answers as it gets its regular season started.
“It was good to win our first game. We have good teamwork, we talk a lot, and it was good that the whole team got it done. We just have to work hard. Coach (Greta Lalli) has brought us together and we just need to work hard,” said Balla Marone, who figures to be a key piece to the lineup this season and pushes back on the notion that the Panthers are inexperienced. “We are hard workers and everyone’s mentality is great. We want to win a championship, we have experience with five guys returning.”
Joining the mix is senior Michael Carlino, who won a championship with the basketball team last year while also helping the football team reach the semifinals this past fall.
Although it is his first year on the volleyball court, he is confident that his big-game experience in the two other sports will allow him to contribute and lead right away.
“I wanted to try it out because I figured it was something I could do good at, something that could be fun. I’ve been in very tough situations in big games so I’m going to bring that to the volleyball court and see how it goes,” Carlino said. “Leadership is pretty big. I’m a senior now and it’s my first year, so I have to step up and be a captain.”
The Panthers improved to 1-0 with the win and are scheduled to face Portsmouth at home on Thursday night.


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