Early woes derail Pioneers

SANTA MONICA -- It was not a good sign that Providence High had as

many service errors as points in its first game of a boys’ volleyball

playoff match against Santa Monica St. Monica.

The Pioneers’ early woes set the tone of the first-round Division


IV contest Thursday against the host Mariners, as Providence went

down to a 15-7, 15-12, 15-6 defeat to end its season.

“I think that first game made all the difference in the match,”

Providence Coach Andrew Bencze said. “If we don’t make the seven


service errors, I think we go on to win the game, and that would have

given us the momentum to win the match.

“That was a real big blow for us, and we weren’t able to recover

from it.”

Although Bencze said the early mistakes were a factor, the coach

didn’t think playing two matches in less than 24 hours was a

detriment for his team.

“I think the fact that we won Wednesday and were playing Thursday,


we had some momentum and we were pumped up for [St. Monica],” said

Bencze, whose team defeated Thousand Oaks Hillcrest Christian on

Wednesday at Providence, 15-3, 15-7, 15-7. “We didn’t really mind

playing back to back.”

Providence (11-12) -- which finished third in the Liberty League

-- knew it would have a tough task against the undefeated Mariners,

who finished as Camino Real League champions. However, after dropping

the first game, the Pioneers showed they could play with St. Monica


(16-0) with a fine showing in the second game.

Led by senior outside hitter Ian Breckenridge-Jackson’s eight

kills in the game, the Pioneers whittled the St. Monica lead down to

13-12, before dropping the final two points.

Breckenridge-Jackson finished with 19 kills. Senior teammate

Francis Sanchez added seven kills and junior setter Danny Boucher had

27 assists.

Providence -- and especially Breckenridge-Jackson -- was

continually hounded by the Mariners’ Stacy Jefferson and Brandon

Jones at the net. Whenever the Pioneer senior went for a kill

attempt, the St. Monica duo was there to contest the shot.

Jefferson had seven blocks and eight kills and Jones had 10


“We tried to switch some things around with Ian,” Bencze said.

“But [St. Monica] did a good job at adjusting.”