GLENDALE — The Providence High boys' volleyball team has enjoyed a successful run in the Liberty League, as well as in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, the past few seasons.
Last season, the Pioneers placed second in league and just two years they advanced to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals.
For Glendale Adventist Academy, its program has struggled in recent years and the Cougars haven't qualified for the postseason since 2007.
The Pioneers showed why they are a team determined to continue their successful trend when they faced the Cougars in a league contest Wednesday. Providence built substantial leads in the first two games and survived some sloppy play in the third to secure a 25-11, 25-12, 25-11 victory on the road.
The win is the third against no losses in league for the Pioneers (8-7). With last year's league champion, Viewpoint, no longer in the league, Providence Coach Josh Eggleston said he thinks his team has a shot at a league crown.
"I don't see any reason why it can't be us," he said. "With Viewpoint out it really opens it up for a few teams. We haven't played Oakwood yet, so that should be a good match for us.
"But we've been playing a lot better. If you compared the way we played today with how we looked three weeks ago, you wouldn't think it was the same team."
The Cougars (0-6, 0-3) are just trying to help revive the program this season. With a young and inexperienced team, Glendale Adventist has taken its share of lumps thus far. However, despite the hardships, the Cougars are putting in the work to try and turn things around.
"We have a group of players who have never played volleyball, on any level, before," Cougars assistant CJ Nicolas said. "We just want to bring this program back and bring back the Cougar pride. The guys are putting in the reps and they have been working hard, but it's just going to take a lot of reps to get us to where we want to be."
One of the contributing factors to the Pioneers' success this season has been the addition of senior outside hitter Phil Harvey. An all-league selection two years ago as a sophomore, Harvey rejoined the squad this season after taking his junior campaign off and has been steadily getting back in playing shape.
Against the Cougars, Harvey led the way for Providence, tallying 11 kills to go along with three aces.
"It's nice to be back," Harvey said. "I still have a lot I need to work on. But it's been good for me so far."
The most competitive game of the match was the third, as the Cougars took their first lead of the contest when Kevin Santos led off the game with a block. However, the Pioneers rattled off the next five points to take a 5-1 lead.
Glendale Adventist kept the score close and still trailed by only four midway through the frame, 15-11. But the Pioneers embarked on a 7-0 run — powered by some big kills by Harvey — to take complete control.
"We have a couple key players who are out, so that didn't help," Nicolas said. "We played better in that third game, but we still have some things that we have to work on. One of those things is trust. We just need to be able to trust one another on the court."
Providence started the match by jumping out to a 9-0 run in the first game. The Cougars were never able to recover after that.
It was another big run to start the second game that fueled the Pioneers, as the jumped out to another 9-0 advantage and never looked back.
Roger Loyola had six kills for thee Cougars.