Laurie Los @LaurieLosSCT
NEW BEDFORD — Having a go-to hitter is great, but Ryan Robichaud is finding that having multiple options is even better.
The junior setter spread the wealth in Wednesday’s 25-14, 25-12, 25-16 win over Brockton at the Z. Walter Janiak Fieldhouse, dishing out 27 assists.
“We’re balanced out,” said Robichaud. “Instead of like last year when we relied on one kid most of the time, I’m allowed to choose and trust multiple different options all at once. That helps out a lot.
“I try to run different stuff with different people to get the blockers on the other side confused and get a solo block. We usually get left with one block so our offense can capitalize.”
Robichaud’s favorite target was junior outside hitter Gavin Ciarcia, who slammed down a game-high nine kills. Senior Gabe Abolarinwa provided a presence in the middle with eight kills while senior outside hitter Casey Leandre added five.
“We’re even everywhere,” said GNB Voc-Tech head coach Richie Gomes. “That can make us very good; executing at that level and spreading the ball. This is the best spread we’ve had ever. Everybody has to do their job when that ball comes. We’re not relying on one person to change the game. We’re really relying on the whole team and you can see that.”
The Bears came out of the gates slow against Brockton and needed a 10-2 run to take a commanding 15-6 lead. Communication was an issue early on for Voc-Tech, which played much better in the second set, jumping out to a 10-5 lead and cruising to the 13-point win.
“The only thing I wasn’t happy with today was communication,” said Gomes. “We need to be loud and communicating with our team. That doesn’t mean through chants. It means on every ball reaction, on defense, on offense. We have to play in sync better if we want to go to the next level. Until we do that, we’re not going to get to that next level.
“Even though we’re playing OK, there’s another level that I know this team can get to. We show flashes of it, but it’s not consistent yet with where I want it to be.”
A string of eight serves from Leandre gave the Bears a 14-7 lead in the third set and they held off a late charge by the Boxers to capture their fifth straight victory.
“They’re pretty solid all around,” said Brockton head coach Jack Olson of Voc-Tech. “They have a lot of experience because a lot of them play club. We don’t have a lot of club players so we’re still learning. We’ve got beginners so it’s tough.”
WHAT IT MEANS: The Bears, who improved to 7-1, will visit Taunton on Friday. “They’re really looking forward to that,” said Gomes. ... The loss drops Brockton to 3-5. The Boxers host Barnstable on Thursday.
ROBICHAUD ON BEING THE SETTER: “I like it because I get to control what happens. I like the pressure on my shoulders.”
OLSON: “We’re an inexperienced team, but it’s the middle of the season. We need to step it up a little bit better. We didn’t really perform well today. They’ve got some experience and we’re making unforced errors and you can’t do that. We’re hoping to sharpen some of that up by the end of the year.”
GOMES ON THE SLOW START: “These guys are waiting to play certain teams and they can’t play like that. They’ve got to play every team like it’s that team.”
BROCKTON STATS: Shane Phillip led the Boxers with six kills while Marc Fleuristal had two kills and three blocks.
VOC-TECH STATS: Ciarcia also had three blocks while Abolarinwa had two blocks and three digs. ... Junior libero Tommy Girard notched a team-high 20 digs. ... The Bears missed nine serves, including three in each set.
NOTES: It was sophomore Colin Wildrick’s 16th birthday. ... Gomes will be inducted into the GNBVT Hall of Fame on May 6 at the Century House in Acushnet. “I’m very excited,” said Gomes, who will be inducted as a player. “That makes it even better. That means so much to me. I bleed green.”
Follow Laurie Los on Twitter @LaurieLosSCT
Source : http://www.southcoasttoday.com/sports/20180425/boys-volleyball-ryan-robichaud-has-multiple-options-where-to-set-ball-for-balanced-gnb-voc-tech