Archive - Sports Article
September 5th, 2013
COVENTRY â€” The three-time defending Division II champion Exeter-West Greenwich girls volleyball team are doing a little rebuilding after graduating a number of talented players.
Of course, the rebuilding should go pretty smoothly with second-team All-State middle hitter Jennifer Donnelly back for her junior campaign. Donnelly and fellow middle hitter Jenna Bridges form the most menacing middle duo in II-South and give coach Josh Bednarczyk a solid platform to build this seasonâ€™s team.
Aleksandra Drljaca counts it as the â€śmost specialâ€ť moment of her short high school career.
To date, however, the now seniorâ€™s 2012 season has also gone down as the finest in East Greenwich High School girls tennis history. Last fall, Drljaca rarely lost a set during her junior campaign, winning 36-of-38, let alone a match as she went a perfect 18-0 in Interscholastic League play en route to becoming the first female in the schoolâ€™s history to capture the RIIL individual state tennis championship.
WARWICK â€“ It was a good start to the season for the East Greenwich High School girls volleyball team when they opened up their 2013 schedule on Tuesday night. The team went on the road for their opener and thoroughly dismantled the Warwick Vets Hurricanes in a three-game sweep; 25-10, 25-15, 25-11.
After four straight season finishing at or below .500, the East Greenwich High School football team took a giant leap in 2012. They posted a 7-1 record during the regular season, finishing second in Division III, before advancing to the championship game where they came up just short against undefeated Middletown, losing the Super Bowl 33-21.
Not just practice, but perfect practice. Not just a culture, but a culture that strives for excellence. These are the foundations of an athletic program with a long-standing tradition of success.
They are also the ideals that have transformed the East Greenwich High School girls tennis team into one of the best teams in the state in recent years.
Replacing players like Marielle Kraft and Kerri Pallister is never easy.
The duo were the East Greenwich field hockey teamâ€™s senior captains a season ago and easily two of the better players the Avengers have had in recent memory.
If there ever was a year for East Greenwich to absorb losing such talents though, it might be this one.
â€śEverythingâ€™s going great,â€ť EG coach Deb McMullen says. â€śWe have a pretty experienced team we have a couple of players that have been on varsity for four years.â€ť
After last season, Chariho football coach Mike Kelly isnâ€™t taking any chances when it comes to resting players.
Last fall the Chargers â€“ by no fault of their coach â€“ were decimated by injuries so at this point in the season Kelly is making sure his team gets the rest they need to be ready for the season.
â€śWeâ€™re making some progress,â€ť Kelly says. â€śThe biggest battle weâ€™re going through is we have some bumps and bruises. Weâ€™re trying to be smart.â€ť
Itâ€™s been a double-edged sword for Kelly and the Chargers though.
Year two of a three-year rebuilding process is underway for the Chariho girls tennis team.
Last season the Chargers easily had one of the youngest teams in Division II with a singles ladder entirely made up of underclassmen and a few more freshmen and sophomores playing in doubles.
As expected, it was a tough season for Chariho as it finished the regular season 2-10 in Division II-Suburban A.
The bright side of last yearâ€™s struggles of course is now the majority of the team is back from last season and so far is showing signs of improvement.
What the Chariho field hockey team lacks in seasoning theyâ€™re going to try and make up for in aggressiveness this fall.
â€śI think that we will compete. Iâ€™m really hoping that the second half of the season these girls will really come together,â€ť Chariho coach Johannah LaFountain says. â€śThe biggest thing I keep telling them and telling them and telling them every practice is that weâ€™re going to have to make up for our inexperience with speed and aggressiveness.
No Skye Hart.
No Sydney Scott.
No Vicky Ferraro but Chariho girls volleyball coach Doug Bliven is saying no problem when it comes to replacing his three graduated star players.
â€śWe look pretty good,â€ť Bliven says. â€śPeople talk about how we lost some players from last year and they were good players but I think over the past couple years weâ€™ve been able to develop the team to the point where thereâ€™s someone behind them to take their spots.â€ť