Girls volleyball kicks into gear

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 8:15pm

For those of you who haven’t heard, Block Island has a girls volleyball team.

Last year, a handful of local students made a push for a girls varsity volleyball team, which was then given a green light. This is the first time the island has ever had a volleyball program. The girls started their season in early September with practices at 6 a.m. at the Fred Benson Town Beach. Since then they have grown to be a wrecking force in Division III.

It wasn’t easy.

The girls started the season with four losses. But all that changed last week when they switched their 6-2 defensive formation to a 5-2 offensive formation, (which means one setter and five strikers). During a Friday game, they had their first chance to try out their new approach against Times Squared Academy out of Providence, and it certainly paid off. The ladies had a strong victory over the Academy — a 3-0 sweep: 25-21; 25-19; and 25-17.

Still feeling the adrenaline from the night before, the girls entered the gym Saturday morning to face yet another opponent: Providence Country Day School. Block Island delivered a stunning victory full of hard spikes, great digs (preventing the ball from hitting the floor), and loud cheers, resulting in a 3-1 victory over PCD.

Junior setter and Capt. Moira O’Neill led the way with 19 assists, five kills, four aces, two digs and a big block. Adding to the beating was sophomore powerhouse and right side hitter Sophie Mott, with eight kicks, eight aces, three digs, and three assists. Junior outside hitter and co-captain Mikhaela Brown added nine kills, three aces, and three digs. Sophomore outside hitter Lucy Rigby-Leather added four kills, three aces, and one assist. Junior middle blocker and serve expert Charlotte Hall contributed five kills, two aces, and two blocks, and freshman Amira Wilson served six aces.

But that’s not all.

If you have attended any of the games, you would notice one of the girls was wearing a different colored jersey than the rest of the team. That is Block Island’s defensive specialist, also known as a libero, specifically brought in to keep the ball from hitting the ground — and number nine Savannah Brown does exactly that. She can be seen at any game sacrificing her body and driving into the ground just to save a point. She did just that on Saturday — delivering six amazing digs and getting the bruises to prove it.

All in all, the brand new volleyball program is a force to reckon with, and they are just getting started. Their next game is this Friday, Oct. 12, at Shea High School, followed by a home game on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 12:45 p.m. against Middletown. Come by and support our team and enjoy the show!