2008-05-29 / News

North Kingstown boys' volleyball advances to the semifinals

By Rudd Hall

Jon-Michael Degidio received praise from coach Joanne Fitts for his play during the Skippers quarterfinal game against Coventry. Photo by David Zapatka Jon-Michael Degidio received praise from coach Joanne Fitts for his play during the Skippers quarterfinal game against Coventry. Photo by David Zapatka The North Kingstown varsity squad took on Coventry High last Friday night, with the winner advancing to the Division 1 semi-fi- nals.

The Skippers came to play. Fired up in warm-ups, they continued their adrenaline-rushed performance into game one.

They started out with an ace on the second serve of the game and it seemed Coventry lost their morale almost instantly. The Skippers took advantage of Coventry's sloppy serves, which were easily returnable or never went over the net at all, pulling ahead to an early 10-5 lead.

Brett Stetson was solid at the net, blocking any blast that Coventry put to him. He added insult to injury after his spectacular defensive performance by firing an ace from deep behind the service line.

Coventry battled back after the five point deficit and finally rallied to bring the game to within one point, 13-12. From there the two teams went point-for-point with Stetson again firing up his team with a blast right down the line opening up the contest.

The excitement rose later in game one with a rally that seemed to go on forever, when finally Michael Ohanian of North Kingstown had enough, and blasted a kill, ending game one with a North Kingstown victory, 25-22. "We came out and just wanted to win," said Ohanian.

"Remember what I said a few weeks ago about lacking the fire," said Head Coach Joanne Fitts, "not today, it's the quarter finals, we've come to play!"

Coventry came back however in game two, stepping up both their serves and their defense, and pulled ahead late to finish game two with a 25-20 win.

Since it's a best-of-five contest, the next two games were crucial for both teams, who were tied at one each.

Game three started off with problems for the Skippers, but Jamestown's Jon-Michael Degidio started putting his game together, and according to teammate Ohanian, "He did really good, he pushed his sets out far enough so I had the ability to angle my shots, they were really good sets, like he's done all season." North Kingstown pulled out the third game with a 25-20 win.

The Skippers were able to close the door on the Oakers in game four.

"Game four, it was pretty close in the beginning, but we just went on a run where we got off about seven points and we just kept the lead from there," Ohanian said.

North Kingstown went on to win the match, 25-16, which advanced them to the semi-finals. "We're playing East Providence, who's going to be tough, we've had problems with them in the past," said Ohanian, "but we're ready, its payback."

After the game, Coach Fitts added, "The boys all had a strong game. We face East Providence this Wednesday at RIC for the semis. Tisser (Daniel) had 21 kills, Ohanian with 19 kills, Jon-Michael had an outstanding match lead in the show. Our only weakness in the whole game was that we missed twenty serves. We're trying to serve tough, but if we can still pull out the win that's fine with me."

The coach added, "We stayed fired up, bring on East Providence."

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