There’s a rare window of opportunity for the Providence High boys’ volleyball team.
Now, the Pioneers would like to keep the window open in their bid to ascend and stay atop the Prep League.
Providence took a huge step forward Tuesday after it posted a 25-20, 25-18, 26-24 league home victory against Flintridge Prep.
Seeking its first Prep League championship after previously competing in the Liberty League, the upstart Pioneers (17-6, 5-0 in league) appear to have turned the corner after turning aside the Wolves (4-2 in league). Flintridge Prep has dominated the Prep League for more than 20 years, including capturing the league crown last season.
“You go out there and try to see where you stand going up against teams like Flintridge Prep and Pasadena Poly,” said Providence coach Mario Adriano, a former Providence player. “It’s a very big week for our team playing Flintridge Prep and then we play Pasadena Poly on Thursday, so it will give us a better idea of where we are.
“I thought we did a real good job today and we stayed with it. We feel like this year is our chance to win league. We felt confident being at home today and now things are starting to click.”
Providence received a team-high 12 kills from Gunnar Petrone, seven from Brett Adams and 30 assists from Ethan Bornoff to post its sixth straight victory.
The Wolves held a 24-19 lead in the third set before the Pioneers completed the victory with a 7-0 surge. The Pioneers got a kill from Petrone to knot it at 24. An ace by Adams made it 25-24 before a kill by Mark Karroum sealed the victory.
“We knew there was a lot riding on that last set when we were down,” Adams said. “We got a couple of points and you could see that passion within the team. I didn’t want to miss any of my serves in that stretch.
“I think we were geared up and ready to go in the match, especially going up against a team like Flintridge Prep. You just want to keep it going and we’re doing that.”
In the second set, Providence took a 15-12 lead on a kill by Nick Stoliker. A kill by Adams closed out the set and gave the Pioneers a 2-0 lead.
Providence, which took second in league before falling to Mark Keppel in a CIF Southern Section Division V wild-card match last season, finished the first set on a 6-1 run that concluded with a kill by Ronin Pingul.
The Pioneers, who have six seniors, got 11 digs apiece from Petrone and Lucas Valera and five kills from Stoliker.
Providence and Flintridge Prep will battle again April 19 at Flintridge Prep.