Portsmouth girls advance to semis in D-2 volleyball playoffs

Patriots make quick work of Exeter-West Greenwich

By Jim McGaw
Posted 11/9/19

PORTSMOUTH — It took a little while for the Patriots to get in gear, but once they did they remained in cruise control against Exeter/West Greenwich Friday night.

The Portsmouth High …

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Portsmouth girls advance to semis in D-2 volleyball playoffs

Patriots make quick work of Exeter-West Greenwich

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — It took a little while for the Patriots to get in gear, but once they did they remained in cruise control against Exeter/West Greenwich Friday night.

The Portsmouth High School varsity girls’ volleyball team blanked the Scarlet Knights, three sets to none, in the Division II quarterfinals played at home.

Portsmouth, which earned a first-round bye before Friday’s match, now advances to face No. 1-seeded West Warwick in the semifinals on Tuesday, Nov. 12. That game will be played at North Kingstown High School.

The winner of that match will play in the D-2 state championship game on Sunday, Nov. 17, at Rhode Island College.

The Patriots won Friday’s match by scores of 25-14, 25-18 and 25-16.

The only time the Scarlet Knights threatened to give the Patriots a challenge came in the second set, when they went up by four points during one stretch before giving away the lead. 

Exeter-West Greenwich showed some grit in set three, winning six straight points to tie things up before the Patriots again pulled away.

One of the evening’s highlights also came in that game, when the Patriots’ Megan Lehane made two incredible digs to keep a long rally alive for her team, which eventually won the point. 

Morgan Shablom, Celia von Recum, Kylie Donovan and Gabby Bryan were among the other Patriots who played particularly strong.

Lisa Zabel, the Patriots’ head coach, said she was pleased with how the girls played.

“We had a little bit of a slow start at the very beginning of the match, but we picked it up and we were playing really clean,” she said. “We were getting a lot of really good hits and we were passing well and running the offense well.”

Kylie Donovan, team captain, was asked about her team’s secret to success so far.

“I think it’s just our bond off the court, which really carries onto the court. We all have each others’ backs,” she said.

She said the team was also confident going into the semifinals.

“It’s going to be a tough match, but I think we’re going to pull through,” she said.

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Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.