South Kingstown slips past East Providence in Division I girls' volleyball playoff quarterfinals

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EAST PROVIDENCE — The 2013 campaign for the East Providence High School girls' volleyball team came to an end Monday night, Nov. 4, in the quarterfinal round of the Division I state championship tournament as the Townies suffered a five-set loss to visiting South Kingstown.

The Rebels, the third seed from the I-South subgroup, defeated East Providence, the two seed from I-North, by a 3-2 count off scores of 11-25, 27-23, 25-23, 14-25 and 15-7.

South Kingstown advances to a semifinal round matchup against reigning state champ and I-South top seed Coventry, which defeated LaSalle, 3-0, in its quarterfinal round match on Nov. 1.

The Rebels and the Oakers meet in one semi Wednesday night, Nov. 6, at the University of Rhode Island's Keaney Gym. The other half of the bracket has I-South two seed North Kingstown facing I-North top seed Classical. North swept Mount St. Charles in its quarter while Classical defeated Prout, 3-1, in its round of eight contest. The state championship match is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9, back at Keaney at 4 p.m.

Monday night got off to a rousing start for the host as East Providence, which lost to the Rebels by a 3-1 count in the teams' only regular season contest, broke from the gate quickly and recorded the 14-point win with relative ease. The Townies, according to head coach Alex Butler's take, "were firing on all cylinders as the service game and attack were running smoothly."

East Providence's prospects, however, dimmed a bit in Game 2 when with a 17-11 lead senior hitter Kaitlyn Bellamy, playing her final match as a Townie along with classmate Logan Fontes, went down with an injury. South took advantage, outscoring the hosts 16-8 the rest of the way to level the match at one game apiece.

"It was just a sad turn of events," Coach Butler said of the Bellamy injury. "The kids were playing unbelievably. Everything we worked on was showing up in the match. When 'Bells' got hurt it was like the life was sucked out of us and we could never get it back. It really was a shame."

The Rebels squeaked out another two-point in Game 3 to take the lead, the Townies, again according to Coach Butler, never getting back into a consistent rhythm with one of their leaders, Bellamy, sidelined. The locals did muster up an impressive response with the nine-point spread to once more even the match in Game 4, but South eventually closed out the victory with the decisive eight-point margin in Game 5.

"It was like plugging holes in a dam. Plug one here and then another starts," Coach Butler added about the Townies down the stretch of Monday's match.

For the Townies, their season closes with a 10-7 overall record in Division I outings. South Kingstown improved to 13-4 with the win.

"While the team team didn't reach (its) ultimate goal, there were so many improvements made as a team and individually this season," Coach Butler said. "Many thanks to the girls for their dedication to the program and for representing the school and our community in a positive manner."

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