WOONSOCKET — Ever since Mount St. Charles made the move to Division I two seasons ago, the Mounties have hooked up with Division I-North foe East Providence to play in some competitive matches, with both sides bringing out their very best brand of volleyball.
On Monday night, the Mounties and Townies renewed acquaintances, but to the dismay of the fans that packed the Mounties’ gymnasium, they saw two teams trying to shake off their early season cobwebs and overcome more than their share of errors.
Luckily for the Mounties, they weren’t as error-prone as their visitors, and they turned in a strong job defensively in securing a 3-0 victory.
Only one of the three games kept the fans on the edges of their seats, the second, which saw Mount (2-0) snap a 20-20 tie by scoring five of the final seven points and net a 25-22 victory. The Mounties needed just 15 minutes to grab the first game, 25-12, and they completed their sweep with a 25-17 triumph in the finale.
“It’s early in the season, so I don’t think either team played its best volleyball tonight,” admitted Mount coach Josh D’Abate, “but I expect to see a whole different match the next time around at their place. It will be their senior night [Oct. 23] and it will be a fun night that night.”
While D’Abate was pleased with the win, he was happy to see his team commit just six service errors (after its ugly 14-error night in last week’s season opener against Classical) and turn in an excellent job on defense, something that promises to be his team’s calling card this season.
“We’re not the same team that we have been,” he added. “We’re not an offensive powerhouse, and that was clearly apparent tonight, especially since we had more errors than kills. But defensively, Lindsey [Morin], Carissa [Gould], Meaghan [Walsh], and our whole group really played well, and that’s how we’re going to have to win games this year, with our defense.”
The loss was a difficult one for the Townies, who turned in excellent efforts in their season-opening victories over La Salle and Classical, but took a big step backwards with their performance against the Mounties, which included 22 attack errors (double the Mounties’ total) and a dozen service miscues.
“To be honest with you, I hope the team that showed up here today is not my real team,” said EP coach Alex Butler. “I thought we played timid, scared, and afraid to play aggressive, which is everything that we’re not. I’ll give Mount credit for playing well and cleaning up our plays, but if you count up the number of points that we gave them, they didn’t have to manufacture maybe a third of their points the entire match. You can’t do that to good teams.
“I’m disappointed, very disappointed, because you always want to come out, have a quality match, and put up a fight, and we didn’t do that.”
The Mounties were led by their seniors, namely Walsh, who contributed nine digs, six kills, and three service aces, Gould, who handed out 14 assists and delivered six digs, Morin, who added a dozen digs, and Kelsey Gainor, who had three kills and two blocks. Erin Potter was also good for five kills.
The Townies received 16 assists from Isabel Newton and six kills from Mary Monagle.