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Lady Knights finish second in the
CCRI Fall Classic!
The CCRI Lady Knights volleyball team hosted six northeast teams for the 2011 CCRI Fall Classic on Saturday September 16th on the CCRI Flanagan Campus in Lincoln. The six teams were: Springfield College JV (Springfield, MA), Monroe College (New Rochelle, NY), Lackawanna College (Scranton, PA), Nashua Community College (Nashua, NH), New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI) (Concord, NH), and Frederick Community College (Frederick, MD).
The Lady Knights won all four of their pool play matches. In their first match they faced Nashua and won handily 25-12, 25-7, and 25-4. They followed that by downing Lackawanna in three straight games 25-17, 25-23 and 27-25. From there they defeated NHTI in a grueling five gamer 25-22, 24-26, 25-16, 26-28 and 15-9 then defeated Frederick 24-26, 25-22, 25-12 and 25-20. The Lady Knights advanced to the finals where they faced the Mustangs of Monroe College and lost to them in three games 13-25, 17-25 and 23-25 to finish in second place in the 2011 CCRI Fall Classic with Monroe College the winner.
CCRI vs. Nashua Community College match summary
CCRI won: 25-12, 25-7 and 25-4
In their first match of the tournament the Lady Knights came out ready to win. They played amazing in this game. Even though Nashua had a slower offence than CCRI they kept their game at a fast pace. Every Lady Knight played their part. Tri-Captain Karla Santizo (Warwick, RI) however shined this game with her serves and digs. Karla almost served this team right off the court not letting up and not letting any balls drop. She played aggressive and smart. Also contributing was Alanna Perry (Taunton, MA) is just an overall smart player.
Head Coach Samantha Reyes commented “She can see the holes on the opponent’s side before anyone else on our team can see them. Alanna will use and abuse the weakness of the other team and when they try and fix or cover that hole she will find another one. It is great, she may not thump the ball in the 10-foot line but the kid will get kills every game by just looking at the whole on the court and using it to her advantage.”
CCRI vs. Lackawanna College match summary
CCRI won: 25-17, 25-23 and 27-25
Samantha Niquette (Coventry, RI) played great this match. When Samantha is on the court there truly is never a dull moment. Samantha can keep the players smiling and laughing it the most stressful time during a game. When it’s tied 25-25 and you need to get this serve over the court is a little tense, but Sam will come out of nowhere with a joke or a dance move or a comment to make the entire team laugh to relax them. The Lady Knights are truly lucky to have such a fun spirit on their team. Humor aside, Sam led the Lady Knights with 10 kills adding five aces and, 10 digs. Annie Ragan (North Kingstown, RI) and Paula Cadavid-Palacio (Lincoln, RI) also had a great offensive and defensive match. Ragan had eight kills, two aces, 10 digs and two blocks while Palacio added six kills, two blocks, 11 digs and an ace.
Coach Reyes added “Annie is great when it comes to finishing the ball or keeping it in play when needed. It’s a tie game the girls will naturally look to Annie and Paula to finish the point. Paula may be a quite player but she is fast, aggressive, and will put the ball down.”
CCRI vs. NHTI match summary
CCRI won: 25-22, 24-26, 25-16, 26-28 and 15-9
This Tournament was very difficult. All of the Lady Knights were playing through injuries, soreness, and fatigue. They had to dig deep to finish this long and grueling match. Annie Ragan played an outstanding match. She knew she had to be the leader in this team today and finish the rally with an emphatic kill. Coach Reyes added “I have never seen a kid with more drive and dedication then this player. She pushed though the pain in her leg skipped her brother’s wedding and led the team in kills and blocks. She played her heart out!” also playing well was Tri-Captain Setter Courtney Piccirillo (Harmony, RI) did a great job leading the team offensively this weekend. She spread the offence so our opponents didn’t know what was coming next. Courtney had eight kills, six aces and 14 digs. Even though she was tired and running down balls left and right she never gave up. Tri-Captain Karla Santizo (Warwick, RI) had great pickups in the middle back and great serve receive while adding 36 digs. Her consistency in serving helps the team keep the rhythm and continue to play.
CCRI vs. Fredrick Community College match summary
CCRI won: 24-26, 25- 22, 25-12 and 25-20
After playing eight games in a row the girls had to get on the court and play four games against a very game FCC squad. The Lady Knights were tired, back hurting, legs cramping and lack of sleep kicking in, and even a bit hungry. They did not let any of these excused get in the way of victory. Coach Reyes commented “It is times like these where the true characters of the players come out. Yes they got frustrated, yes they wanted to go home, and yes they knew it would be easier to just quit; but they pushed through. After losing the first game I was unsure how the girls would take it having to go to four now to win the game. The girls instead of saying ‘let’s just quit’ they came in the huddle saying ‘let just win quickly so we can rest for a little while before finals.’ Making matters worse Sam Niquette was banged up and couldn’t serve so Johnna Gulluscio (Westerly, RI) came in and served when the team needed a server. Johnna was also battling an injury herself but still stepped-up though diving and passing was out of the question. However Ragan and Santizo took over the back row protect their teammate.
Coach Reyes added “Words can’t describe how proud I was with these girls. It takes so much heart, patience, perseverance and character to fight through everything, every factor they were fighting against. Lady Knights will go far this season. What makes the effort more impressive is that they did not have to have this victory to make the finals but they pushed through their injuries to give their best effort”
Fall Classic Finals CCRI vs. Monroe College match summary
CCRI lost: 13-25, 17-25 and 23-25
The Lady Knights made it to the finals which started it around 7:15 pm. They had already played 12 games in a row and were all feeling the effects of playing for 12 hours. They started slowly, not talking, not moving and making a lot of errors. They played out the game losing decisively. Before the second game they huddled and Coach Reyes told them “Have fun, play hard, and don’t give yourself excuses.” Monroe had a late bye and had been ready since 2:00pm and they were fresh, full of spirit and loud. But the Lady Knights did not let that affect them, they fought harder. They would not let Monroe roll over them and would not go down without a fight. Every game they came closer and closer to a win but came up just short.
Coach Reyes commented “I know if my girls had not played 12 games in a row we would have won, I can honestly say that this team has the most heart and passion I have ever coached in my seven years of coaching.”
The Lady Knights next matches will be next weekend the 24th and 25th when they travel to Holyoke, MA to play in the Holyoke Invitational beginning 9:00am Saturday.