By ALEX SPONSELLER The Johnston volleyball team rolled past visiting Toll Gate in three sets last week to bounce back from a tough opening day loss. The Panthers won by scores of 25-15, 25-15 and 25-17. Johnston fell to Exeter-West Greenwich 3-1 in the
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Johnston volleyball team rolled past visiting Toll Gate in three sets last week to bounce back from a tough opening day loss. The Panthers won by scores of 25-15, 25-15 and 25-17.
Johnston fell to Exeter-West Greenwich 3-1 in the season opener but turned things around early in the home opener.
“It was good. We lost the first game because we just didn’t play well. It was the nerves. There was nothing there, they were just nervous,” said Johnston coach Greta Lalli, who’s roster is still a work in progress early on this fall season. “We have no seniors on the court, we have a new setter, there have been a lot of changes so we have been rolling with the punches. We lost so many great players, it is a fluid lineup. Right now, they’re just doing their job. This was a really good day. We always say that the first games are really telling.”
Another factor in both games has been the crowd noise, as schools are allowed to host fully-attended games unlike the 2020 season.
“We had absolute silence last year, we didn’t have anyone. Now, we have people cheering, even cheering on serves. That was something that they had to work through last game and now we will have it here, it’s a different mindset,” said Johnston assistant coach Margaret Guilmette.
One of Johnston’s key pieces this fall with be junior Jaylen Molina, who will be stepping up into the libero position.
“She will do anything and everything, she’s amazing. She’s our libero this year, she’s been everywhere. She has no issues, no fear and she’s a strong backbone. I have been coaching her since she was in the seventh grade. She’s amazing, she’s one to watch,” said Lalli.
Johnston moved on to take on Rogers on Wednesday. Moving forward, Lalli hopes the team will focus on its own game.
“We just want to go in there playing our game,” Lalli said. “We don’t care who we’re playing, we just need to be better than the last point and that’s what we keep telling them.”
Toll Gate fell to Rogers in the season opener, 3-0. The Lady Titans fell to 0-2 with the loss to Johnston and next faced Exeter-West Greenwich on Tuesday. Cailin Tainsh leads Toll Gate in kills and service points.