Sports editor emeritus
PAWTUCKET — Tolman High coach Roger Tow didn’t want to hear about how poorly his team played Tuesday night during a 3-0 loss to East Greenwich in the Division II quarterfinals.
“East Greenwich made us play poorly,” he told his athletic director, John Scanlan, following the 69-minute contest. “They had a good game plan coming in and they executed it. Our offense was missing. I think our team lost some confidence, too, as the match went along.”
Tolman, which finished 15-3 in Division II North during the regular season, got off to slow starts in the first two games and could not dig itself out of those early deficits. The Tigers fell behind 8-2 in the opener and got as close as 20-14 before the taller Avengers pulled away for a decisive 25-15 victory.
East Greenwich jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the middle game on deft serving by its co-captain, junior Phoebe Wong. The Avengers continued to press their advantage at the net, jumping out to a 15-4 lead before Tolman made its best sustained run of the night, pulling to 21-16 thanks to some strong front line work by the two tallest Tigers, Patricia Santos and Fenda Konte.
The two teams split the next six points before E.G.’s lanky Spencer Taylor won a battle at the net over Konte for a 25-19 triumph in the second game.
The Tigers, whose only lead in the first two games came on the first point of the match, broke on top in the third game, taking an early 4-1 lead and stretching it to 16-9 midway through the finale. Angelis Perez seemed to pull the Tigers together with her complementary style of play but the Avengers reclaimed the momentum with their dominance at the net.
E.G. ran off six straight points to get back in the match. The Avengers finally went ahead 20-19 and surged to a 25-20 triumph.
“They served aggressively,” Tow admitted afterwards. “Our passing game was off and they exploited that. Number 3 (Wong) controlled the match. They had a height advantage on us. They set shots in tightly and made it difficult for us to get our offense going.”
Tow had scouted East Greenwich recently and came away impressed.
“They are a good team,” he admitted. “They played pretty much the way I expected them to against us. They executed their game plan better than we did.”
Tow talked to his players after the match, emphasizing their strong regular season campaign.
“We had a good season,” he said. “We won 15 games. You can’t be upset about that.”
East Greenwich, 13-5 in Division II South, moves on to the semifinals Thursday night at URI against Narragansett.