By ALEX SPONSELLER The Johnston girls volleyball team continued to roll when it swept visiting Toll Gate 3-0 last week. The Panthers came out hot in the first two sets, winning 25-9 and 25-8. Johnston, who has played five sets in five different games,
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Johnston girls volleyball team continued to roll when it swept visiting Toll Gate 3-0 last week.
The Panthers came out hot in the first two sets, winning 25-9 and 25-8.
Johnston, who has played five sets in five different games, has had a habit of letting teams back into games and did just that in the third set. The Titans held multiple leads throughout and forced the Panthers to go on a late run to rally to a 25-20 win to close out the victory.
“It was good. We switched up our lineup a bit in the third set, and these girls are creatures of habit so they had to adjust a bit, but they were able to pull through. (Toll Gate) made some adjustments and were on their game in the third, but we were able to pull through,” said Johnston coach Greta Lalli.
Johnston leader and Rivier-commit Brynn Roche was excited for her team to get the win and build some momentum heading into the playoffs.
“We’re all really excited to go to the playoffs and want to be prepared for it. We don’t want to be cocky, but we want to be confident going into them. Right off the bat, we knew that we wanted to come out strong. We just need to play as a team, keep a positive attitude and stay up,” said Roche.
With the win, the Panthers improved to 7-1 and remained in a dog fight atop the standings. They squared off against Portsmouth on Wednesday, but the results were not available at press time.
“(The playoff race is) intense, and I am not sure they know how intense it actually is since they are just out there playing. It’s definitely big since we have such a small group. It was tough for us not having our full team here today,” said Lalli, who’s JV team was in quarantine.
Lalli added: “They just have so much fun on the court. They did the best that they could, they played an unbelievable first two games and regardless of score, they stayed focused in the third. They followed the ball, stayed in it, and that’s a sign of a good team. When it got tough, they stayed in it. We have four seniors, four sophomores, and the chemistry is fantastic. If they stay up, they’re fantastic.”
Although the Panthers are still learning to close out games, last week’s win was a step in the right direction and will pay dividends moving forward.
“We’ve been to five games, five times. With that, they’re in such great shape and they don’t get tired. We don’t have people to sub in, most of them play the whole time and it’s usually more intense than this. They just go and go,” said assistant coach Margaret Guilmette.
The Titans were scheduled to face West Warwick on Wednesday, but the game was postponed.