Providence Boys Volleyball Falls In Four Sets

Ethan Bornoff and Preston Komisar played exceptionally well for the Pioneers, who lost 25-11, 28-26, 25-15-, 25-22.

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Providence played hard and were determined against Rio Hondo Prep but lost in four sets. (Photo by Rick Assad)

By Rick Assad

Ethan Bornoff and Preston Komisar, a senior opposite hitter/setter and junior outside hitter, respectively, did everything in their power to keep the Providence High boys’ volleyball team eye-to-eye with Rio Hondo Prep on Friday night at the Fritz B. Burns Activity Center.

It turned out their efforts were Herculean, but couldn’t push the Pioneers past the Kares, who prevailed 25-11, 26-28, 25-15, 25-22 in a Prep League match.

After not playing especially well in the first set, Providence upped its game and energy in the second game, especially after trailing 24-21 when sophomore outside hitter/setter Nathan Mendez’s serve went out of bounds.

One point for losing the set, the Pioneers rallied and outscored the Kares 7-2 to grab the set.

Komisar’s push evened it at 2-2, Komisar’s winner made it 7-6 and Komisar’s kill extended it to 10-9.

The Kares (15-8 and 2-1 in league) led 20-17 on a kill from sophomore opposite hitter Kaleb Parry and 23-19 on sophomore setter Ethan Lo’s winner.

Providence sliced the lead to 24-22 on senior outside hitter Marlon Medina’s push and led 25-24 on sophomore outside hitter Rainn Pollock’s hitting error as the Kares asked for time out.

Bornoff’s push evened it at 26-26 and the Pioneers added two points on Rio Hondo Prep hitting errors to win the set.

“Our team is in a rebuilding phase this season, so my emphasis is less on winning and more about improving each set,” Providence coach Mario Adriano said. “After losing our first and third sets, I pointed out our weak points against Rio [Hondo Prep] that were holding us back, namely our lacking off-blocker defense, and the bad cover on our hitters who were matched up against a tough block.”

Adriano added: “I also encouraged our front middles to confidently take the first pass if needed, as I noticed Rio [Hondo Prep] like putting serves and free balls into the short court a lot,” he said.     

The Pioneers were beaten by the Kares in four sets in a Prep League match. (Photo by Rick Assad)

The set clincher for Rio Hondo Prep was a see-saw affair as it was tied ten times.

Bornoff’s tapper gave the Pioneers a 3-2 advantage and Medina’s tapper made it 7-5 in favor of Providence.

Rio Hondo Prep outscored Providence 5-1 and led 10-8 on a kill from Lo, it was deadlocked at 13-13 after Pollock’s hit found the net.

A co-block from Parry and junior middle blocker Marco Chan saw the Kares slip ahead 18-15.

Junior Ronin Pingul’s dagger saw the Pioneers (3-14 and 0-2 in league) get within 20-18 and junior middle hitter John Sarmiento’s push knotted it at 21-21.

The Kares won four of the five next points and Pollock’s winner made it 23-22. The game and match were earned after Pingul’s hit grazed the net.

“My boys made their adjustments, and I think the results of the second and fourth sets speak to their merit of how quickly they can apply that kind of feedback,” Adriano said. “Overall, I’m quite happy with how we played today,” he noted. “Even if the result on paper doesn’t reflect it, I think our team was extremely successful in overcoming several hurdles.”

The third set saw the Pioneers lead 4-1 on Bornoff’s kill and Bornoff’s push evened it at 5-5.

Junior libero Landry Johnson’s ace for Rio Hondo Prep made it 8-6 in favor of the Kares and Lo’s winner made it 12-7.

Pollock’s consecutive spikes gave the Kares a 15-9 and 16-9 lead and Chan’s winner made it 17-10.

Johnson’s service winner made it 21-12, Lo’s kill extended the margin to 24-13 and junior middle blocker Zach Burl’s dagger ended the set.

The initial game was lopsided from the outset as Rio Hondo Prep pulled ahead 6-1 on a push from Lo and 11-3 on a tapper from Burl.

Providence came within 15-6 on a kill from Medina but Rio Hondo Prep zoomed to a 21-9 advantage on an ace from Johnson.

Burl’s stuff made it 24-11 and Burl’s spike handed the visitors the first set.