KINGSTON – After sweating through a tight first game, the Coventry Oakers easily took the next two against the East Providence Townies for a second straight girls’ volleyball state title Saturday evening at Keaney Gym at the University of Rhode Island.
In contrast to the Division II match, the Oakers made quick work of the Townies after a 25-23 first game. After that tense game, Coventry swept the next two easily, 25-12 and 25-13.
East Providence had no answer for Coventry attacking outside and middle hitters – junior Samantha Higgins, senior Marissa Turner, sophomore Jill Ward and junior Kelsey Ferrara. Coventry mixed and matched, as the four used passes from senior Mackenzie Mitchell, junior Abigayl White and junior Casey Head.
The consistent attacks seemed to fluster East Providence, who played similarly to the semifinal game against top-seeded Prout.
While the Townies were able to get past the Crusaders anyway, thanks to similarly sloppy play by Prout, Coventry executed their offense and racked up big leads in the second and third games.
The state title is Coventry’s second in volleyball, after their first in 2011. The Oakers were the Class A runners-up in 2002, and haven’t had a losing season since 2001.
East Providence remains at a bit of a plateau following the second place finish this year. The Townies were also runners up in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
This followed five straight seasons of Division I or Class A championships, from 2002 to 2005. Dating back to 1999, the oldest year for records on Rhode Island High School Sports, East Providence has never had a losing season.