WOONSOCKET — Cumberland took a sharp turn for the better.
Less than 48 hours removed from their worst performance of the season, the Clippers returned to their winning ways in dominant fashion on Thursday by sweeping Woonsocket, 3-0, in a rare afternoon match at the Villa Novans’ Savaria Gymnasium.
In a match that offered little drama and took just 55 minutes to complete, the playoff-bound Clippers bumped their Division II-North mark to 11-2 by disposing of the Novans by scores of 25-15, 25-14, and 25-18.
The Clippers were coming off a 3-1 loss to fourth-place Central Falls on the road Tuesday night that saw not much go right for them, from their hitting to their serve receiving and a few other aspects that did not please head coach Ruth Plante.
“We played poorly,” added Plante, who coached the Villa Novans from 1985-2004. “If you lose and you play well, that’s okay, but when you lose and you don’t play well...
“Today, we played a lot better. I put in some ninth graders today and some other kids that don’t get to play much, and they did a very good job.”
While the Clippers fared well in the hitting department and received a superb match from senior Erin Rosa (nine kills, three blocks), they also sparkled from the service stripe and delivered their share of aces, with Samantha Mitchell leading the way with three.
“We served well today,” remarked Plante. “We served awful the other day. Awful. We don’t usually have more than seven bad serves in a match, but on Tuesday, we had 14 or 15 (bad serves).”
Of the three games on Thursday, the only one that was fairly competitive was the third, but with both teams tied at 11-11, the Clippers ran off eight of the next 12 points to take control and force the Novans to burn a time-out and regroup.
In addition to Rosa and Mitchell’s contributions, the Clippers also received six kills and two aces from Kait Engels, five kills from Olivia Sherman, 20 assists from setter Hannah Ratcliffe, and contributions at the net from Bea Caron and Ratcliffe.
The Villa Novans, who fell to 1-12, but were fresh off their 3-0 triumph over Mount Hope on Tuesday night at home, were guided by senior captain Cheyanne Nalle and two of her classmates, Nicole Lefebvre and Varsana Schobel.
Both teams return to action next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., with the Clippers hosting Tiverton at their Wellness Center and the Villa Novans continuing their homestand with a match against another neighboring rival, Burrillville.
Follow Eric Benevides on Twitter @EricBen24.