SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Nine members of the South Kingstown boys volleyball team were honored in senior night festivities on Friday and they wasted no time keeping the party going with a sweep of Cranston East.
“It was a great night,” senior Aidan McGonagle said. “We have a really good group of seniors and it’s been awesome being on the court with these guys all year.”
The victory was the second in a row for the Rebels, who will carry a 6-3 league record into Friday’s regular season finale against unbeaten North Kingstown. The Rebels lost a previous meeting against the Skippers. Their other losses came to Coventry and Bishop Hendricken, two other top contenders.
The Rebels expect to be in the mix when all is said and done.
“We played some lighter teams early,” McGonagle said. “We’re getting our mistakes out now and we’re getting ready for NK in the last game of the regular season, just preparing ourselves for bigger games ahead.”
Cranston East has been a tough out this season and was within a point late in the opening set of Friday’s match. The Rebels won six of the last eight points to win 25-20. McGonagle and Knoll French closed it out with kills.
The Rebels trailed 3-2 in the second set before reeling off 10 points in a row. Luke Palazzetti was at the service line for the run and delivered three aces. McGonagle Joshua Hedde and Ben Conover chipped in kills. Later, three kills by French in a span of four points upped the lead to 17-6. Cranston East worked back to within two at 22-20, but the Rebels took advantage of two errors to get to game point, then won it 25-22 on a kill by Hedde.
South Kingstown had to dig out of a hole in the third set after falling behind 5-1. A kill by Hedde started the comeback, which eventually tied the game at 8-8. An ace by Aidan Symington keyed a run of four straight points, and the Rebels stayed in front from there. McGonagle sealed the match with a kill for a 25-19 victory.
French led the Rebels with nine kills. McGonagle and Hedded chipped in seven each.
There was a lot to celebrate for the seniors, who were a promising young group the last time they were on the court. Following last year’s cancellation, they’re the anchors this season and they’ll be aiming for a big finish.
“That’s really all we’re looking for. We’re full steam ahead to the final game of the year,” McGonagle said. “That’s what we’re going for right now.”