The season hasn’t gone as planned for Jean McGarry and the Warwick Vets girls’ volleyball team, and Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to Cranston East only added to the frustration.
The ’Canes lost 25-20, 25-15 and 25-16 while struggling to maintain any level of consistency. They made significant runs in all three games, but once they lost momentum, the games were essentially over.
Vets is now 1-11 in Division II-South, tied for last place with Scituate – the only team that it has beaten. East is 7-4, fifth in the same division.
“My personal frustration level is through the roof right now,” McGarry, the team’s head coach, said. “The kids, I’m not really sure where their confidence is. Sometimes they have it – they have spurts – and sometimes it goes by the wayside and they don’t know how to retrieve it.”
Vets got down big early in each of the first two games, only to climb back and then watch the bottom fall out again. Trailing 15-8 in game one, the ’Canes came all the way back to a 19-18 deficit, even forcing East into a timeout.
Shannon McCarthy had a block, Alyssa McCracken had a pair of kills and Megan Macera and Liz Iadevaia each had an ace.
That was the high point, though. Consecutive hitting errors and a miscommunication immediately put East back in control, and a bad set put the ’Bolts two points away from a win. A service error gave Vets a point, but it returned the favor with a serving error of its own. East middle hitter Alexis McCarten won a battle at the net for the final point.
“The other team didn’t do anything spectacular, we just kept making mistakes,” McGarry said. “It’s difficult to make a player fix their mistakes. Basically, that’s where we’re at right now. We’re trying to fix simple mistakes that they can’t let go when they happen.”
Game two followed the same blueprint. Trailing 15-7, Vets went on a run to get within 19-15, only to see it slip away. Iadevaia made a heads up play when a hit of hers was blocked back into her face, as she quickly pushed it back over the net for a point. Emily Walason had an ace and Shelby Mahoney tipped a ball into open space.
Down by just four, however, Vets surrendered two kills to McCarten and an ace by McCarten to suddenly fall behind 22-15.
McGarry took a timeout, but it did nothing to stop the slide. A hitting error by Vets and two serves that never came back over the net by McCarten ended game two. East scored the final six points.
“That’s not the way we practice,” McGarry said. “That’s what’s frustrating for me. I know the way they practice and this is not the way we practice. If we could play a game the way we practice in the gym, the fans would see another whole side of the Warwick Vets Lady ’Canes than what you’re seeing. I would love for them to someday show that.”
The third game was close early on, but the ’Bolts once again broke away. With the score 15-12, in favor of East, the ’Bolts scored 10 of the final 14 points.
McCarten led the way with two kills. For the game, Vets had four service errors, which matches its total from the first two games combined.
“Our serving in game three was terrible,” McGarry said. “It was good in game one, we had one error, but game three it wasn’t there.”
There is still time for Vets to turn it around, although it would have to happen soon. The ’Canes have six matches left – including a non-league match with Juanita Sanchez – and a few should be winnable. First, it hosts 6-6 Pilgrim today at 6 p.m. Later in the season, it plays Scituate again and Westerly. Westerly is 2-10.
“It’s one of those things where you’re making adjustments and I’m looking at the fact that the adjustments are made – is it for the better, is it for the worse, or is it the same?” McGarry said. “My motto is that if something isn’t working, you’ve got to change it.”