Mount St. Charles boys dominate Westerly in D-II volleyball championship

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PROVIDENCE — Inside the sweltering Murray Center at Rhode Island College, No. 1 Mount St. Charles/North Smithfield Nate Tessier identified a reason his team was able to ride out the heat and No. 3 Westerly to win the Division II Men’s Volleyball State Championship Saturday.

“It was very difficult to stay focused,” said Tessier (12 kills, two blocks). “We kept our cool and that’s what won it.”

For the second straight time between these teams, the match went to five sets with the RCMP winning, 22-25, 25-22, 25-17, 15-25, 15-9.

In the process, coach Josh D’Abate’s team finished a season unbeaten (20-0) while winning a title in the first season the schools combined to form a cooperative team.

“We talked about it at the start of the season about our team’s goal,” D’Abate said. “All the players on the team wanted to win everything.

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“To do this and finish undefeated is really special for guys who didn’t know each other 10 weeks ago.”

Without North Smithfield, Mount might not have had a team this season.

“Luckily we have found a great partner in North Smithfield and the Interscholastic League has done a very good job of making this happen,” D’Abate said. “For our guys and the guys at North Smithfield, it’s a phenomenal achievement that this is happening.”

Even more phenomenal, MSC/NS have beaten Westerly (15-6) three times in one season.

“I never talked about it with our guys,” D’Abate said. “But it was in the back of my mind, especially after the way they played us the last game. It was going to be really tough.”

How hard?

Prior to this match, MSC/NS had dropped only five sets all season. Still, the Bulldogs gave their opponent a warning shot when they grabbed the opening set – only giving up the lead on three occasions.

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“They played very well – 100%,” Tessier said. “We weren’t worried at the start of the game. We have a motto. It’s balance.

“We kept our composure and composure. That’s what allowed us to win. »

The final stats also underscored MSC/NS’ ability to keep their cool.

Caden Sullivan of Mount St. Charles/North Smithfield kicks a ball during a game against West Warwick earlier this season.  He had 41 assists and five kills against Westerly on Saturday in the Division II league game.

Caden Sullivan finished with 41 assists and five kills; Connor DeSousa led with 18 kills; Alvendz Viera Dones had eight blocks and six kills; Ben Sousa had 11 digs and Tom Matchett had seven kills and three blocks.

MSC/NS, who lost the opener, 22-25, equalized to win the second set with Estevan Reyes serving three straight points, helping their team overcome a 20-19 deficit.

The Mounties built early leads to six points in the second set thanks in part to play by Viera Dones, DeSousa and Tessier with Matchett’s kill ending the third set.

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Westerly, to his credit, fell short and outscored MSC/NS, 13-5, in a fourth-set streak with key blocks and kills from Marcus Haik to level the game at two each.

Tessier came out big in the fifth set with four kills and a block.

“He’s been a rock all season,” D’Abate said of Tessier. “It’s only his second year. Last year was the first year he came out. He didn’t play in second year because of COVID and didn’t come out in first year.

“He’s been phenomenal all season. For him to finish this game the way he rocked the line he’s done all season.

Undefeated was not part of Tessier’s vocabulary before this season.

“I didn’t expect us to be this good,” he said. “We exceeded expectations. At the start of the season, we did not communicate. We got better as we communicated.

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