CENTRAL FALLS TAKES ON WOONSOCKET VOLLEYBALL TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4 LIVE ON YURVIEW, COX CHANNEL 4, AT 7PM AND STREAMING FREE HERE.
There are banner-raising nights that serve as a reminder of past accomplishments. But can the occasion also feature a motivational tug to it?
Before the Central Falls girls’ volleyball team hits the court inside the school’s gym – aka the CF Thunderdome – Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Woonsocket, a pre-match ceremony that pays tribute to last year’s special group of Warriors will take place. A banner signifying the regular-season title will be unveiled – denoting a 16-2 record against Division III competition before the focus shifted to the postseason.
For C.F. the quest to add another feat to the same banner fell one game short. In the D-III finals, Scituate sprung a three-game sweep over the top-seeded Warriors. The dream was dashed in the same fashion when the Warriors rolled through the competition for the majority of the season.
“It was a big bummer, but only the last game matters,” said Central Falls head coach Richard Sousa.
Time will tell if this year’s group of Warriors can atone for falling one game short of achieving a championship quest. In some small fashion, perhaps Tuesday’s banner ceremony – while special in its own right – will help to remind the players about the focus and attention to detail that will be needed in the weeks ahead to ensure that history does not repeat itself.
Who should fans (and YurView viewers) keep an eye on on the Woonsocket and Central Falls teams? Ask and you shall receive. Below is a checklist to help you get game ready. Let’s begin with the away team.
Records don’t paint the entire picture when telling the story of the 2022 Villa Novans, currently 1-4 in Division III-B.
“We’ve had moments of brilliance, then the youth takes over,” said Nanci Caron, Woonsocket’s first-year head coach. “We’ve been right there. It’s about getting over that hump and tightening things up at the end of games.
Woonsocket features one senior in Rylie Forcier. A multi-sport athlete who also plays basketball and softball, Forcier is the Novans’ middle hitter. The makeup of the roster features sophomores and freshmen – a sign of good things to come, per Caron.
“It’s about instilling a belief system that it will pay off through trusting each other on the court,” said Caron.
The best way to sum up the roster is that multiple players have taken on multiple roles. Ashyln Brazenor has been impressive as a freshman while sophomore Isabella Piette has stepped up as a setter. Junior Dorothy Parker has been your classic plug-her-anywhere player.
“On any given gameday, someone steps up,” said Caron. “They can all play. They just have to believe in themselves.”
Graduation losses resulted in significant roster turnover, yet the Warriors retained a small but prominent core that’s been instrumental in the team’s 5-0 start (in Division III-A) to the 2022 season.
A junior outside hitter, Pamela Galva appeared in the ’21 title match against Scituate. So too did seniors Joana Rodrigues and Yulianna Hernandez. Regarded as one of the division’s top talents, Rodrigues plays the same position as Galva while Hernandez is a setter.
“Those are the ones who have that bitter feeling inside of them,” said Sousa.
The majority of C.F.’s points come when Rodrigues is in the front row. Galva’s ability to see the whole court has enabled her to stay a step or two ahead of the opposition.
“We rely on Pamela to get those side outs so we can get Joana back to the front row,” said Sousa.
Having a veteran setter of Hernandez’s caliber is a major luxury. Her list of responsibilities is endless – from jump setting to back setting to putting her teammates in a prime position to strike.
“She’s so crafty,” said Sousa about Hernandez.
Some of the newcomers who have been thrown into the fire after one season of JV experience include Melany Rodriguez, Anashyah Bell, Chaelys Acevedo, and Jaileen Santiago. All are sophomores.
Rodriguez and Bell are defensive specialists who operate out of the back row. For Acevedo and Santiago, their coach believes another gear will be unlocked when displaying an aggressive approach when positioned near the net on a consistent basis.
“They’re young and sometimes make mistakes, but they’re coming along,” said Sousa.
A senior, Alexsya Torres was a member of the C.F. volleyball team during her freshman and sophomore years. She didn’t play as a junior but is back and serving as a valuable depth piece at right-side hitter.