The Cranston West volleyball team wanted to make a statement heading into the 2019 spring.
After being forced to drop from Division I to Division II, the Falcons were determined to show the state that they could still compete with the best of them, and did just that as they rolled past East Greenwich 3-0 to claim the Division II title in dominant fashion on Monday evening at Johnson and Wales.
Although EG had its moments throughout the contest, the Falcons were simply too much as they picked up the win with scores of 25-15, 25-19, 25-13.
“It feels amazing, we worked so hard all throughout the year. So, to win it with my teammates my senior year, it’s a nice ending. We were happy to face EG in the finals, they’re a really good team, they gave us our best matches of the season, so it feels really good to come here and beat them for the championship,” said West senior Garrett Doidge, who was happy to celebrate the win with fellow seniors Matt Tortolani and Virak Pond-Tor. “It’s awesome. I’ve known them for all four years and we’ve really come together, we’ve become very close, so it was great to share that with them on the court when we won.”
The two clubs battled in the opening set, with West jumping out to a 14-11 lead. However. The Falcons would cruise the rest of the way to pick up the 25-15 win. The Avengers would once again hold on in the opening half of the second set, trailing by just two points at 17-15. The Falcons would catch fire and roll to the second win.
West carried that momentum into the final set, jumping out to a 19-5 lead and going on to wrap up its first state championship since 2016.
“(EG) only had one loss this season so we knew that we would have to play a really clean game, we have the utmost respect for them. (EG’s Christopher Rivera) is a really good player so we really wanted to try to neutralize him and make their other players step up. We wanted to try to double block him and double block the middles and it worked out. We got ahead early and were able to pull it out,” said West coach Roger Tow after the win.
Tow and company were also excited to get the win over reigning champ East Greenwich.
“It’s very satisfying. We would have liked to have played Division I this year, but we’re definitely going to cherish this title. East Greenwich is a very good team, they’re really a D1 team, so this felt like a D1 matchup. We just played our schedule this year and we are happy with how it turned out,” said Tow, who was also proud of his three seniors for their big performance on the biggest stage. “Our three seniors were huge tonight. You saw their leadership on the court, any time that EG would get some momentum, you’d see our seniors speak up and calm us down. The senior captains really led us tonight.”