By Rick Assad
In two of the three sets played between host Providence High and Marlborough School on Wednesday night, the Pioneers had a chance to win one or perhaps two but didn’t win either and were swept by the Mustangs in a nonleague girls’ volleyball match.
Marlborough took the three sets by scores of 25-20, 25-16, 25-9 as several players starred for the Mustangs.
The Pioneers (5-3) led the initial game 3-1 on a tapper from outside hitter/opposite hitter Kailey Ho, but then the Mustangs (2-0) seemed to take control as they saw three straight service aces from senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Eloise Perfitt that made it 8-6, 9-6 and 10-6.
The Pioneers proved difficult as they trimmed the lead to 13-12 on a tapper from junior outside hitter/middle blocker Kylie De Vries.
Marlborough pulled ahead 16-13 after a block from junior middle hitter Rubi Harrington and led 17-14 on a winner from junior outside hitter Ava Limerick.
Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Tata Vongfak’s push gave the Mustangs a 20-15 edge, but the Pioneers closed to within 20-18 on a push from senior outside hitter/setter Cailey Ocampo.
Marlborough proceeded to claim five of the next seven points that included a kill from sophomore outside hitter/middle hitter Paloma Vergara that made it 21-18 and an ace from Perfitt for a 23-18 margin.
Providence drew within 24-20 on a push from junior outside hitter/middle blocker Shannon Ferrell but when Vergara added a spike the set was finalized.
The middle set commenced with the Mustangs racing to a 4-1 advantage when junior setter Ivy Starr added a spike as the Pioneers asked for a time out.
Providence narrowed the gap to 7-4 when Ferrell tossed in a service winner, but Marlborough moved ahead 11-6 on a kill from freshman setter Madison Phan.
It became 12-8 in favor of the Mustangs on a winner from Starr and it swelled to 15-10 on a service ace from Phan.
Providence tried to stay within shouting distance and came within 15-11 on a kill from Ferrell, but the visitors led 17-11 on a tapper from Perfitt as the Pioneers needed a time out.
The Pioneers came within 17-13 on Ferrell’s push but the Mustangs responded with a 4-1 surge and led 21-14 on an ace from Vergara.
From this point in the set, Marlborough captured four of the next six points including a push from Perfitt that handed the Mustangs a two games to none advantage.
The third game was pretty much all Marlborough which led 2-0 on a kill from Starr, 6-1 on a service ace from Vergara and 11-1 on a block from Starr and Limerick.
The Pioneers closed to 11-2 on a kill from Ferrell but the visitors went on a 5-0 spurt to lead 16-2 and included consecutive kills from Limerick that made it 12-2 and 13-2.
Starr added a push to make it 14-2 and tossed in two service aces that made it 15-2 which forced a time out and 16-2.
Providence rallied somewhat as it came within 20-5 as defensive specialist Sadie Martinez added a kill and junior libero/defensive specialist Mia Allinson tossed in a service ace that made it 20-6.
A push from senior setter Gabriella Aves saw the Pioneers slice the lead to 22-7 but the Mustangs righted the ship and won three of the next five points that included a push from Starr that made it 24-9, before winning the set and match after Providence touched the net.