PROVIDENCE HIGH — Providence High Coach Josh Eggleston was left searching for answers after watching his team in its opening game Tuesday against Holy Martyrs.
The Pioneers didn’t pass the ball well, made a slew of unforced errors and looked generally out of sorts in the opening frame of the Liberty League contest at Providence, allowing the Armens to win the game in relatively easy fashion.
However, the Pioneers team that took the floor in the second game didn’t resemble the one that struggled in the opener. Luckily for Providence, it was able to regroup and won the next three straight games convincingly to earn a 13-25, 25-8, 25-16, 25-18 win.
“After that first game I had three games to come with something as to why we played that way early on, and I didn’t come up with anything,” Eggleston said. “That’s by far the worst single game that we’ve played all year. And it’s not like we had a new lineup or anything. So, I just don’t know.”
Providence senior outside hitter Andrew Roxas has a theory about his team’s challenging play in the first game.
“The first game we weren’t really focused, we weren’t passing right and we were out of system,” Roxas said. “We also didn’t communicate that well. When we don’t communicate we seem to make bad plays.’
Roxas paced the Pioneers with 14 kills. Senior Jackson Saldana added nine kills and six aces.
In the first game, Providence (7-5, 2-1 in league) — ranked No. 7 in CIF Southern Section Division V — committed 20 unforced errors to allow the Armens (1-5, 0-2) to take control of the contest. After trailing by five, the Pioneers did come back to tie the score at 8. But they were never able to grab the lead.
“My message to the guys is that if we play like that against a tougher team, there’s a chance that we don’t come back to get the win,” Eggleston said.
Providence cut down its unforced errors in the second game to four and held the Armens to just two kills.
The Pioneers led throughout in the third and fourth games, as Holy Martyrs couldn’t make up much ground in either stanza.