By RYAN D. MURRAY The Pilgrim Lady Patriots went to Toll Gate on Friday night and swept the Lady Titans 3-0 (25-19, 25-8, 25-12) during a Girls Division II East Volleyball tussle. The Pilgrim attacked was headed by sophomore Kaleigh Catucci, (4 aces, 6
By RYAN D. MURRAY
The Pilgrim Lady Patriots went to Toll Gate on Friday night and swept the Lady Titans 3-0 (25-19, 25-8, 25-12) during a Girls Division II East Volleyball tussle.
The Pilgrim attacked was headed by sophomore Kaleigh Catucci, (4 aces, 6 kills), and seniors Bethany Cicerone (8 aces, 5 kills) and Kylie Chaplin (5 aces, 3 kills).
Toll Gate was topped by juniors Holly Bui (4 aces) and captain Cailin Tanish (2 aces, 4 kills).
The teams were knotted at 13 in the opening set, and then Pilgrim gained momentum.
First, Gianna Ramos blocked Brooke Menard. Next, Missy Lee scored four points on serve and helped Pilgrim to an 18-13 advantage.
Lee later assisted to Catucci for a kill, which earned the Lady Pats a 25-19 win of the first set.
Pilgrim head coach Jason Metivier didn’t love what he saw despite the first set victory.
“The first game, we definitely played slow,” Metivier said. “One of our downfalls, if you will. Obviously not playing our game. And then, obviously in the second and third sets, we played much better. We used our serving as an offense, which was a huge thing.”
Cicerone registered two aces early in the second set and helped Pilgrim jump out to an early 9-0 lead.
Toll Gate got on the scoreboard and drew within 9-1 when Cicerone committed a service error.
Midway through the set, Pilgrim’s Chanti Van Heyningen recorded a kill and widened the Lady Pats margin to 16-3.
Later, Catucci scored with an ace and got Pilgrim to game point at 24-8. The Lady Pats won the set when Toll Gate’s Yuliana Garcia committed a service error.
Pilgrim took a 7-2 lead in the third set when Madelyn Narcavage scored two points on serve. Shortly after, Chaplin recorded back-to-back aces and upped the Lady Pats margin to 12-3.
Later, Leiyah Lee registered a pair of aces and gave Pilgrim a 22-8 advantage.
Toll Gate’s Tainsh put down a fiery spike after that, but the Lady Pats got the last laugh when Catucci landed the match-winner and Pilgrim walked away with a 25-12 triumph of the third set.
Throughout much of the match, the Lady Titans looked out of sorts, and Toll Gate head coach Lisa Sweet attributed that to the team’s lack of time on the court.
“Inexperience for sure,” Sweet said. “We have only one returning player on the court right now. Everyone else is ninth and tenth graders. And we have four girls out due to Covid, who were in the starting mix. So, a lot of girls had to step up today that wouldn’t normally come in and serve or pass. And I thought that they did a pretty good job considering that they’re not used to coming in and doing that.”
The Lady Titans played on Tuesday at Tolman and lost by a score of 3-1. Toll Gate currently sits at 1-6 on the season and plays next on Thursday at Johnston.
“We’re going to build on this,” Sweet said. “We still have a few more games that we’re going to be without three of our starters, but we’re just going to push through and try to build on what we’re doing. And build on our passing and our serving, and overcoming some of the mistakes, and playing the best that we can.”
Pilgrim lost 3-1 to Mt. Hope on Tuesday and play next at Chariho on Thursday. The Lady Pats sit at 4-3.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, Metivier was content with where his team was. The head coach hopes they can keep it up for the rest of the Covid-19-shortened season. This season is just nine games compared to the normal 18.
“It’s good,” Metivier said. “I think the two losses we had were good games as well. We took the first two games from Portsmouth and they’re leading the pack right now. . . We’re getting there. We’ve got another three games left, so hopefully, we can stay on top. Hopefully, we can be more consistent and keep moving forward.”