WOOD RIVER JCT. — Alec Fowler didn’t lead Chariho High’s boys’ volleyball team in any statistical category.
But the 5-foot, 11-inch senior was a major factor in the Chargers’ three-game sweep of Cranston East in a Division I crossover match Wednesday night.
Fowler changed positions at the last second when one of Chariho’s starting middles, Adam Eaton, had to sit out with an illness. Fowler, who has been in the program for three years (all varsity), had never played middle before.
He played the position well enough that it also enabled coach Doug Bliven to keep Robbie Toth on the outside where he has been so effective since moving from the middle.
“He put up a solid block and he was able to freeze the block long enough to create solo blocks on the outside,” Bliven said. “He had to get there quick enough so the defense had to honor it. So he did a nice job as decoy.”
Chariho won the first set 25-20, then cruised to 25-11 and 25-8 wins in the next two.
“We had a lot of errors, passing and net violations, that kept them in it (in the first set), but we cleaned that up the last two games,” Bliven said.
Zach Wilcox led Chariho in kills with 11 and had 14 digs, three aces and three blocks.
The Chargers had another strong night serving as they swept for the second time in as many nights.
Toth had three aces to go with six kills and 12 digs.
Setter Steven Phillip had two aces to go along with 23 assists, two kills, six digs, a solo block and an assisted block.
Adam Bemis had four kills, a solo block and an assisted block, Ben NeJame had 15 digs and Aaron Dolan had eight digs.
Fowler had three digs, two kills and an ace.
Fowler was in an out of the starting lineup last season but always contributing, Bliven said. This year he was playing mainly right.
“This year he showed he can play anywhere. The one question I had was can he play the middle and tonight he showed me he could,” the coach said.
Fowler took the offseason program Bliven puts together for all of his players very seriously, implementing every aspect of it.
“He did the strength training to build up his endurance and this year I could see a big difference just in physical ability,” Bliven said. “Last year he was jumping 10 inches over the net, this year he’s well over 12 inches over it. It’s nice to see someone who puts in the work get the results.”
The victory puts Chariho over .500 overall at 4-3. The Chargers are 3-3 in Division I-South. Cranston East is 3-3 overall, 3-3 in Division I-North.
Chariho’s next match is Tuesday against Mount St. Charles at 6:30 p.m. MSC was 4-0, 4-0 Division I-North as of Wednesday.
East Providence ...............1
WOOD RIVER JCT. — The Chargers swept all six matches played and dropped just four games in Wednesday’s Division II-Suburban A match.
Will Masse cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 win in No. 1 singles and improved to 3-2 this season. With the win Chariho stood at 4-1 overall and in league play. East Providence is winless in five Division II-Suburban A matches.
Jason Darmanin won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles and Nick Wollenberg swept to a 6-0, 6-0 win in the third singles match. Joe Westerberg was a 6-1, 6-0 winner in fourth singles.
Chariho won first and second doubles. The Townies scored their only point when the Chargers were forced to default the third doubles match.
Nick Lecours and Chandler Scott were 6-0, 6-0 winners at No. 1 doubles and improved to 3-0 this season.
Riley Masse and Chris Alexander were 6-0, 6-0 winners in the second doubles match.
Chariho coach Ryan Rafanelli was pleased with his team’s performance Wednesday. The Chargers are back in action today at Portsmouth at 4 p.m.
“I was happy with the way all the kids from the team played. They all played well and mixed up their games and stayed strong throughout the entire match,” Rafanelli said.
Cranston West ................14
WOOD RIVER JCT. — The Falcons jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead after one quarter of play in Wednesday’s Division III game.
Nick Cleary and Tyler Bobbin scored a goal apiece for Chariho (0-3, 0-3 Division III). Mitch Renner and Rob Wood had assists.
James Rooney made 10 saves for Chariho.
Wednesday’s win was the first of the season for the Falcons (1-5, 1-4 Division III) and second-year team Chariho is still looking for the program’s first win.
Chariho plays at Toll Gate on Friday at 10:30 a.m.
Two relays score
WARWICK — A third place for the 4x800 meter relay team was the better of the two Charger scoring relay teams at the Class A Injury Fund Relays Wednesday.
Mitch Carrier, Nate Claire, Andrew Sardelli and Matt Tierney placed third in the 4x800 with a time of 8 minutes and 42 seconds.
Sardelli, Tierney, Carrier and Mike Rainey combined for a fifth place finish in the 4x400 and ran a time of 3:45.5.
Chariho’s eight points placed them ninth overall as a team.
Chariho is off until Tuesday Apr. 29 when it and East Greenwich visit Exeter-West Greenwich at 3:30 p.m.