Unified Volleyball Captures State Championship


Lucas Parent, Lion's Roar Staff

     The 2022 Lincoln Lions are your state champions! This time, in a new domain. For the first time in school history, Lincoln High School secured gold and took home the honors of being the Division V champions for unified volleyball. 

      For a Division V team, the Lions proved their valiance and stole statement wins throughout the run which proved they were worthy of greater placement throughout the season. The Lions marched into Cumberland and left victorious, beating a strident army of Clippers. In the regular season, the Lions won six of seven, going undefeated in in-division play, with a lone loss coming on the road against Cranston West. Even in the loss, the Lions did not go down easy, winning the second set and keeping pace in the third set of the defeat. The pinnacle of the Lions’ season came at home during spirit week. In front of a supportive Lincoln crowd of seniors, faculty, and gym students alike (in the midst of Adam Sandler day), the Lions beat a North Smithfield team handily, which gave them momentum for the rest of the season.

     The Lions faced off against a formidable opponent in the semifinals: Barrington. The Lions faced struggle throughout and dropped several points which put them in an uneasy situation heading into the finale. Backs to the wall, winner advances, Lincoln rallied and took home the victory in front of the home crowd. The Lincoln Unified Program now returned to the finals, just months after falling in the unified basketball title game. However, this was not the same team. Only a handful of players returned from the basketball squad, which had lost several seniors to graduation. The unified volleyball team featured a mix of underclassmen and juniors but lacked senior presence. But the Lions proved it did not matter, as they clinched a spot in the title game without a senior on the roster. 

     Hosted by LaSalle, the Lions entered a neutral site championship against Rhode Island School for the Deaf. Like several times throughout the season, it was all tied up headed into the third set, making the atmosphere thick with anticipation in a win-or-go-home scenario. Junior Isabella Fairfield described the atmosphere as “definitely nerve-wracking”. The Lions were just a few steps away from the top of the mountain. In a back-and-forth final set, neither team amassed a formidable lead, due in large part to substitutions by both coaches. Coach Beth Bedrossian made sure to play the leaders of the team, who would come through in the tightest of situations. Leading 24-23, without holding serve, the Lions were able to capture the final point and secure the championship for the first time in school history. For the players, it was a huge relief to reach the highest high in sports after being in a tense situation. Junior Aidan Gorman cherished the victory claiming, “it was an amazing feeling”. 

     After a season of ups and (few) downs, the Lincoln Lions have earned the right to call themselves the Division Five Unified Volleyball Champions.