BY CHARLIE ADAMS, TSM LEAD WRITER
(Cranston, RI) - The Cranston East boys’ volleyball team came into their matchup against their crosstown rival Falcons sporting a 4-5 on the season. Coming off a 3-1 loss to the second-place LaSalle Rams, the Thunderbolts would have to bring their best if they wanted to bounce back and even their record on the season. The Thunderbolts' efforts couldn’t extinguish the red-hot Falcons, as the ‘Bolts lost, 3-0, and fell to 4-6 on the season.
East came into the season with high expectations and championship aspirations, but a four-game losing streak hurt their preseason momentum. They bounced back, however, winning their next four games, including knocking off #1 North Kingstown, before dropping their match against LaSalle 3-1 in close sets.
West’s season has been as opposite to the ‘Bolts as their cardinal direction. Playing in Division-II, the Falcons won seven straight games without even losing a set. West was able to bounce back in this game following a disappointing first loss of the season to Westerly in 5 sets.
The Thunderbolts kicked off their rivalry match against the Falcons with a slow start, going down 20-12 before storming back to get within 2 points of the lead. The final five points were a back-and-forth affair, but West held on after a failed serve by Carlos Lora to end the set at 25-22.
Set two was over for the ‘Bolts before they could even start, going down massively and ultimately losing the abysmal set 25-12.
With West already leading 2-0, the ‘Bolts had to dig deep to avoid a sweep. Early miscommunications cost the Thunderbolts points early in the set. What could’ve been a commanding lead for East turned into a close back-and-forth set. ‘Bolts' mistakes continued to eat into their lead in the set, with the Falcons eventually taking the lead back and going up 16-15 in the set. The set went back and forth, reaching a deuce at 29 before West could finish off the sweep 31-29.
East came out cold, making mistakes and communicating poorly. They played nearly the whole match trailing in points and, when they had a lead, would continually shoot themselves in the foot. The ‘Bolts will have to look to Monday to get back on track on the road where they’ll face Mount St. Charles/North Smithfield. The Thunderbolts will be seeking revenge for their first match against them on opening night where they were swept.
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