WEST WARWICK — The undefeated Narragansett volleyball team easily won the first two games of Wednesday night’s clash with West Warwick before the Wizards opened up a four-point lead midway through the third game.
It would’ve been easy for the Mariners to chalk the game up as a loss and win the contest in the next game, but that’s not the mentality Narragansett first-year coach Abby Hummel has ingrained in the team.
Narragansett scored 10 of the game’s next 12 points and withstood a late West Warwick charge to keep its spotless record intact with a 25-8, 25-13, 25-21 Division II-South victory.
“I was really proud of the girls because West Warwick had a big lead and they were playing great and that’s what you want from a game,” Hummel said. “I was really happy the girls pulled through. It’s really nice to see somebody have a lead and see what your team can do.”
On the flip side, West Warwick coach Mike Shunney was happy his team was in a position to become the first II-South team to nick a game off the Mariners. West Warwick actually tied the game at 18 following a Narragansett mistake, but the Wizards simply weren’t consistent enough to earn the win.
Narragansett (8-0 Division II-South) was coming off a sweep of second-place East Greenwich on Monday and Hummel was worried about the energy her team would bring Wednesday. Gabby Leclerc led the way, again, for the visitors with nine kills and seven digs, while middle Abby McKanna added four aces and four kills.
West Warwick (3-5 Division II-South) actually played solid volleyball early in the opening game, even though the game quickly became lopsided. The two teams split the opening eight points, but West Warwick committed three early service errors. The Mariners scored 20 of the games final 25 points behind kills from Leclerc and Leia Mistowski.
“I did worry they wouldn’t have the same energy, but they proved me wrong,” Hummel said. “They played well the whole time. I’m really proud of them.”
The Wizards started the second game similar to the way they started the first. The two teams were tied at 2, 3 and 4 before West Warwick’s inability to pass Narragansett’s pin-point serves proved to be their downfall.
Narragansett went on a 5-0 run and the game was never closer than five points after the Mariners reached the 10-point mark.
“Serve-receive is frustrating,” Shunney said. “It’s tough to be able to predict what another team is going to do at the service line. Our biggest goal tonight – no matter what – was to come out of this with something. What got some progress on our defensive rotations even though we lost the match.”
The Wizards jumped out to a 6-3 lead following a Leclerc hitting error, but unlike the first two games where the Mariners went on a big run to blow the game open, West Warwick continued to lead.
The Wizards led 9-5 following a Langlais error. The Wizards still led 10-9 before Narragansett went on a 4-0 run. West Warwick battled back to tie the game at 18 before two late hitting errors allowed Narragansett to earn another sweep.
“Honestly, if you look at all of our stats, the entire team’s playing well,” Hummel said. “Everyone knows who Gabby is, but everyone else has been consistently putting something into the game. If it was just Gabby out there playing well we wouldn’t be doing well.”