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EAST GREENWICHâ€”The season had been going better than many expected for the East Greenwich High School boys volleyball team.
The Avengers were in second place in Divsion II-South and on pace to triple their win total from last season.
None of that seemed to matter, however, Monday night as they suffered a 3-1 loss to the Central Knights.
Regardless of their early season success, Mondayâ€™s match proved to be the biggest test to date for the inexperienced EG squad.
The Knights took to the court at EG a perfect 4-0 and so far this season they have done so in dominating fashion, having lost just one game all season.
Intimidation, however, was
not a factor according to EG coach Terri Garno as she searched for answers following the loss.
â€śI didnâ€™t even focus on that,â€ť she said. â€śI didnâ€™t even know Centralâ€™s record and I donâ€™t think my kids did either.â€ť
After losing the first set 25-10, East Greenwich turned things around for a narrow 25-23 victory in the second.
Just when it looked like the Avengers might be able to take that momentum and give the Knights a run, however, their discombobulated play returned early in the third to make their second-set win seem like a distant memory.
Central faced little resistance the rest of the way and took the final two sets, 25-15 and 25-19, respectively.
After starting the season with a number of strong performances, Mondayâ€™s game was a departure from how the Avengers have played so far this season.
â€ś[Monday] we were shaky [up the middle],â€ť Garno said. â€śUsually, weâ€™re really good about mixing the ball around.
â€śMy middles are usually much more aggressive and dynamic than they were [Monday]. I didnâ€™t seem to have that.â€ť
To make matters worse, the completely uncharacteristic play made it hard for the coach to find any sort of silver lining to take from the match.
The Avengers were so all over the place, the loss left many on the East Greenwich sideline searching for answers.
â€śThere was more than one having an off night,â€ť said Garno. â€śWe didnâ€™t play very well [Monday]. Iâ€™m not really certain whatâ€™s going on. Kids were definitely out of their rhythm.
â€śThey didnâ€™t play strong at all tonight. I didnâ€™t really see any of my team there.
â€śIâ€™m curious about talking to them after the game myselfâ€¦ We have a lot to work on.â€ť
The Avengers will not have much time to solve the riddle of Monday night with just one day off between matches.
A short layoff, however, may not be the worst thing for EG this week as they go from facing the undefeated to the winless.
The Avengers hosted winless Toll Gate Wednesday (results unavailable at press time) and will return to action Monday at 6:30 p.m. when they travel to take on Westerly.