The No. 6 North Smithfield Northmen went to Pilgrim High School and stunned the No. 3 Patriots 3-2 (25-23), (18-25), (17-25), (25-22), (15-12) on Tuesday evening during the Boys Volleyball Division II Tournament Quarterfinal.
Aldrec Dones, a junior middle-hitter, topped the Northmen with 19 kills and four blocks, while senior Matt Hetu added ten kills and William Reyes racked up 42 assists.
Dave D’Andrea, a senior, led the Pats with 16 kills and two blocks while Max Caracuzzo, also a senior, contributed two kills, three aces and 38 assists.
The match was decided by a decisive fifth set where North Smithfield junior Matt Beausoleil scored the game-winning serve.
After falling in the first set, the Pats stormed back and won sets two and three, before falling in the final two frames.
“We just weren’t consistent enough tonight,” Pilgrim head coach Michael McGiveron said. “There were just times where we had every opportunity to win the match and we just made too many errors. We just didn’t play consistently all throughout. We made a lot of passing and setting errors and it just never seemed to click.”
Even though the Pats prevailed in those sets, they still weren’t playing their best.
“It was a little bit better, but I still wasn’t pleased with how we were playing,” McGiveron said. “We played a whole lot better the last couple of matches. . . Whenever we got a four or five point lead it seemed like we just gave it back. And when you’re in that three to five point range, you’ve got to really push the situation and we just never did.”
North Smithfield showed up at Pilgrim ready to play.
“Everyone on the bench and everybody on the court was giving it their all,” North Smithfield coach Brad Walling said. “They were playing as tough as they could. Our defense, I think, is what won this game for us. Not many balls hit the floor. They were willing to sacrifice their bodies out there. Their intensity the whole time was high. As soon as we got down, I noticed they were picking each other up, and keeping that team camaraderie together, and I think that’s what really won us the game. So, it was fun to watch.”
The loss ends the Pats season while the Northmen advance to the semifinals to face No. 2 East Greenwich at Cranston East High School. That match is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m., but will likely be moved to Friday due to Thursday’s graduation at North Smithfield.