BRISTOL - The short trip across town for the Bristol Eastern girls volleyball team was yet again a joy ride on the way back Wednesday night.
After winning the first two sets 25-18 and 25-14, Bristol Eastern was down for all but five points in the third set. Sophomore Zoe Lowe finished off two big points and with a 25-24 lead, Lancers senior captain Aliana Rivoira made sure there would be no fourth set as she blocked Bristol Central’s Kathryn Ross at the net and Bristol Eastern continued its winning ways against its cross-town rival.
“It felt good not just because of what I did but because of the team,” said Rivoira after the 26-24 third-set win for the 3-0 sweep over the Rams. “I just really wanted our team to come out and show who we are because there was a lot of hype around this game that Central thought they were going to come out and win. They played really well, but I thought we showed who we are tonight.”
Bristol Central’s Peyton Greger did everything she could to keep the Rams in the match. The junior finished with eight kills, three aces and 11 digs.
“She did everything she was supposed to do on that court,” Bristol Central head coach Holly Willette said. “I am so proud of her to be able to keep fighting through no matter what was happening and try to bring her team up. She was fighting a battle on both sides of the court tonight, trying to lead her team and keep them where they were supposed to be getting to and playing against Eastern. Compared to last year she has grown so much and I am so proud of her for what she put out there tonight.”
In the first two sets the Lancers got out to 4-0 leads and didn’t trail in either set.
The push by Bristol Central in the third challenged Bristol Eastern’s resilience but that’s something the Lancers see working in their favor.
“We weren’t ahead in set three until the very end and I thought that showed a lot of poise and composure,” Bristol Eastern head coach Stacy Rivoira said. “We had the lead twice during the whole set but ended up winning that match. That shows a lot about who they are and what they stand for.”
In the third set with Rivoira serving to start, Bristol Central won the first point to get the ball on serve.
Greger rallied off three consecutive service points to put the Rams up 4-0.
The four-point lead was the biggest of the night for Bristol Central.
While the wins keep coming against Bristol Central for the Lancers, the win streak doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of pressure every time they take the floor.
“It’s not, it’s absolutely not [another game],” coach Rivoira said. “I think there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on these girls to be the team that loses to Central. It’s going to happen, there will be a team that loses to Central. And no team on my side wants to be that team so I feel like they come in with a lot of pressure on their backs. They really have to define who they are and make sure they play well because nobody wants to be the team that loses to Central quite honestly. It’s a lot of pressure and I feel like they handled it very well.”