PROVIDENCE — Mount St. Charles Academy’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.
“We didn’t have any offense tonight,” Mount coach Josh D’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.
“We only had 10 kills from our outside hitters all night,” D’Abate said.
“South Kingstown did what we expected them to do. They block shots and pass the ball well. We made a ton of errors tonight.”
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 game’s first three points, only to see South Kingstown rally for a 9-6 lead. Mount answered with seven straight points, climaxed by Koback’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.
Mount’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 D’Abate’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.’s defense shut down Mount’s offense and the Rebels moved out to an 18-11 lead and coasted home with the victory.
“It’s disappointing to end the season this way,” D’Abate said. “I 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.”
Mount finished 12-6 overall. South Kingstown takes a 16-2 record into Saturday afternoon’s state championship game against the unbeaten Hendricken Hawks. That match is set for 2 p.m. at RIC’s Murray Center.