10.27.12: The CCRI Lady Knights volleyball team hosted the Lynx of New Hampshire Technical Institute for their final regular season game on Saturday October 27th. The Lady Knights swept the Lynx 3-0 in a best-of-five match: 25-14, 25-19 and 25-17. With the victory the Lady Knights improve to 22-6 on the season.
Saturday was also Lady Knights’ volleyball sophomore day as four Lady Knights would be making their final appearance at home for CCRI they were: Co-Captain Annie Ragan (North Kingstown, RI), Co-Captain Paula Cadavid (Lincoln, RI), Alyssa Roberti (Cranston, RI), and Jenna Ayala (Paterson, NJ), who is injured but was in attendance to be honored.
Despite the emotions of that day, which may have drained a normal team, the Lady Knights played with tremendous heart! Nothing hit the ground without a body falling after it. The girls were definitely playing for each other. Head Coach Samantha Amaral commented “I told the girls after winning the game that if they played the way they played today there is no doubt in my mind that they will win Districts and go on to Nationals.”
Leading the way for the Lady Knights was Co-Captain Annie Ragan with 22 assists while adding 10 kills followed by Co-Captain Paula Cadavid leading the team with 15 digs and eight kills. Also helping CCRI was freshman Janny Cabrera (Providence, RI) who was not far behind the Captains with nine kills, an assist, and seven solo blocks. She was one of the players that fought for her team and gave it her all on the court. Amaral added “Chelsea O’Connor (Pawtucket, RI) is also one I was very proud of.” O’Connor has played every position on the court from Libero to Setter to Outside Hitter. She may be short in stature but man is she has a mighty heart. Chelsea had five kills, three digs, and 15 services attempts. This was exactly what the team needed; a player to get the ball over the net on the serve and let her team fight for the point. Amaral later added “I know how hard this kid worked in practice to play all the way around for me and to serve. She proved to me not only should she play all the way around but that with her all the way around nothing would drop on our side of the court. She struggled to get where she is today but man am I proud of whom she is now!”
Coach Amaral commented about coaching on sophomore day: “I was a very proud coach. I had to reflect on where my girls started from and where they are now. Annie (Ragan) and Paula (Cadavid) had been there since I first started at CCRI as the head coach. It hit close to home for me. Annie came in knowing she was a good player and she knew the game really well. What she didn't know is in the two years of her playing she would be pushed to places she had never been as a player. This year Annie was put as a setter not a hitter. I gave her the task of leading my offense and her team. She took on the challenge and has done a great as a setter. Paula has always been a fighter. She will take any challenge with a smile. She makes the team laugh as the most stressful time but she also leads by example. Paula pushes and give me 100% every game and practice. You can’t coach that kind of passion. Alyssa (Roberti) and Jenna (Ayala) this was their first year playing for me. They had no idea what they were going to be into this year. They fought every practice to be the best player they could be. They had a long way to go but they knew they were not going to stop until they were a strong part of this team. This was my first sophomore day that really hit home for me, but that day I could not have been more proud of who my girls are, what they have done to get here and what they are doing to be an example to the first years.”
The Lady Knights now will prepare for the District tournament to be hosted by Region XV champion and No. 18 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) Mustangs of Monroe College this Saturday and Sunday. The Lady Knights will face: Region XV champion No. 18 ranked Monroe College (32-5) and Region XIX champion Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry (12-8). The schedule for the tournament has yet to be released. The Lady Knights will attempt win the Districts and return to the National Tournament and represent Rhode Island for the first time since 2008.
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.