PROVIDENCE â€” Mount St. Charles Academyâ€™s first season in Division I ended on Wednesday night with a semifinal round loss to South Kingstown at Rhode Island College, which used an edge on the front line to good advantage during a three-game sweep of the Mounties.
â€śWe didnâ€™t have any offense tonight,â€ť Mount coach Josh Dâ€™Abate admitted after the Rebels rolled into the state finals against unbeaten Bishop Hendricken. S.K. won the first game 25-18 and then hung on to edge the Mounties 25-23 in the middle contest. Game three went to the Rebels by a convincing 25-16 score as Mount seemed to run out of gas.
â€śWe only had 10 kills from our outside hitters all night,â€ť Dâ€™Abate said.
â€śSouth Kingstown did what we expected them to do. They block shots and pass the ball well. We made a ton of errors tonight.â€ť
Mount rallied from a slow start in the first game to close within 15-12 on a kill by outside hitter Matt Koback. The Rebels nursed their lead until scoring four of the last five points to win the important opener.
Mount then scored the middle gameâ€™s first three points, only to see South Kingstown rally for a 9-6 lead. Mount answered with seven straight points, climaxed by Kobackâ€™s slam into the backcourt that made it 13-9 in favor of the Mounties. A bad serve, one of many on this night, stopped the run.
Mount would lose a point with a mishit ball and then a net violation as South Kingstown ran off five points in a row for a 14-13 lead.
Mountâ€™s Daniel Cahaly tied the game at 14-14 with a big hit at the net but the Rebels then took charge, taking a 21-17 lead. Still, the Mounties would not quit, as Chris Gerber won a duel at the net. Gerber, Joseph Murphy and Patrick McCarthy then teamed up for a great stuff at the net to make it 21-19.
Ryan Durand served four points in a row for Mount during a surge that gave Dâ€™Abateâ€™s club a 22-21 lead. That may have been the high-water mark of the evening for the Mounties, who fell behind 24-23 and then lost the game on a double-hit.
Once again, the Mounties shook off their misfortune, playing the Rebels even through the first 18 points of the third game. At this point, S.K.â€™s defense shut down Mountâ€™s offense and the Rebels moved out to an 18-11 lead and coasted home with the victory.
â€śItâ€™s disappointing to end the season this way,â€ť Dâ€™Abate said. â€śI think we had a good first season in Division I after winning three straight state titles in Division II. We went 11-5 in the regular season, which is about what I was hoping for. We can build on this season because we have a lot of players coming back. We got to play a season in D-I against better athletes and better teams than we had seen in D-II. I thought we had a good season.â€ť
Mount finished 12-6 overall. South Kingstown takes a 16-2 record into Saturday afternoonâ€™s state championship game against the unbeaten Hendricken Hawks. That match is set for 2 p.m. at RICâ€™s Murray Center.