Providence volleyball overmatched in CIF playoff loss

It was apparent early on Thursday that the Providence High girls' volleyball team was simply overmatched in its playoff match.

After a drive to Santa Barbara to take on No. 1-seeded Laguna Blanca in a CIF Southern Section Division IV-A second-round match, the Pioneers were greeted by an Owls team that had a wealth of talent to go along with the home-court advantage. As a result, the Pioneers suffered a 25-16, 25-11, 25-9 loss.

"There is a reason why Laguna Blanca is the No. 1 team," Providence Coach James Jimenez said. "They were so talented and they were blocking over everything that we were trying to get past them. They are just a very good team all around."

The loss ends the season for the Pioneers (16-8), who placed second in the Liberty League. Laguna Blanca (14-2), which had a bye in the first round, captured the Condor League championship.

Providence was able to stay with the Owls for portions of the first game. However, the Pioneers weren't able to sustain any type of momentum.

"There were times we showed that we could play with them," Jimenez said. "But they would just come back and overwhelm us, and it didn't seem like we could do much to stop them.

"I told the girls that they just went against a better team and there's nothing you can do about that. They were out there trying and I give them credit for that."

Regina Benedicto and Lorena Ubillus had four kills each for Providence. Teammate Jenny Nardoni contributed 11 assists and Nikka Adraneda had 21 digs.

Providence advanced to the second round by defeating cross-town rival Bellarmine-Jefferson in five games on Tuesday in a first-round match.

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