Warwick, R.I. – April 17, 2017: The CCRI Knights men’s club volleyball team traveled to Kansas City, MO to compete in the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) National Championship. The Knights competed in Division III which is the division for NCAA B and C teams along with community colleges and junior colleges. By the end of the Championship and season the Knights finished 25th overall in Division III and 9th in the Silver Bracket of DIII of the NCVF Championship.
Going into the Nationals the Knights had one goal set for by Head Coach Anne-Marie Balboni “This being the third National appearance by the CCRI Men's Volleyball team our goal was to simply rank higher than last year’s 32nd finish. And I am excited to say, we did it!” CCRI Men's Volleyball team ended their season 9th in Silver and 25th overall in DIII. This movement upward was noticed by all including the Mountain West Volleyball Conference the conference where Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) the only other community college in the Tournament. SLCC and the Head Administrator from the Mountain West offered an invitation to compete in one of their tournaments next season. Another honor for CCRI was two of their players: Adam Carey (North Smithfield, RI) and Eric Silveira (Pawtucket, RI) were recognized by the referees and awarded the Gary Colberg Memorial Chip. Colberg was the founder of the NCVF whop passed away in 2016 each referee can award one chip during the entire tournament to ONE player and two Knights received that distinction fir their fair play and sportsmanship and efforts on the court.
The Knights took the courts on Thursday and had a very tough draw in their seeding pool with Ohio State B, Virginia Tech B and Grand Valley State B. To put it in perspective, Ohio state won NCAA National Championship and their A team was I DI finals while Virginia Tech finished second overall in DIII in this tournament.
Thursday the Knights started Day one by playing Ohio State and lost 14-25 & 18-25. From there they faced the tournament runner-up in Virginia Tech and gave them all they could handle but fell 24-26 & 13-25. The Knights finished day 1 by defeating Grand Valley State 25-17 & 28-26 to end day 1 with a 1-2 record. The Knights victory was credited to Pat Carlson (South Kingstown, RI) and Zach Mowry (North Smithfield, RI) who served five points apiece while Adam Carey (North Smithfield, RI) and Captain Jake Johnson (Warwick, RI) combined eight kills.
On Friday the second day of the tournament the Knights entered the Challenge Round versus Marquette B who finished 5th overall in Division III but fell by the final score of 22-25 & 21-25. This landed CCRI in the Consolation Flight where they beat Colorado State B 27-25 & 26-24. Coach Balboni commented “An awesome match that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.” The Knights were led by Jake Johnson, Pat Carlson and Eric Silveira who gave the team a combined nine service aces, while Libero Brian Lamoureux (North Smithfield, RI) contributed 15 digs and Chris Hermanowski (East Providence, RI) added 15 blocks. Coach Balboni added “Winning this match was pivotal as it put CCRI on the path into the Silver bracket.” Unfortunately for the Knights a tough loss to Florida State University 23-25 & 24-26 earned them respect but put them in the Silver Consolation Bracket.
On Saturday CCRI entered the Silver Consolation bracket. Though they had lost an hard fought match the night prior, the Knights were pumped and came out with awesome defense by Brian Lamoureux and Pat Carlson who combined for 20 digs to help earn the Knights the win versus a very potent Ohio State C squad 25-22 & 25-19. Nick Wainwright (South Kingstown, RI) came through big time in this very close match vs Ohio State with four kills, four blocks and two aces. The Knights advanced to the Silver Bracket Semi-final match but fell short against a very tough University of Florida B team 16-25 & 23-25.
Coach Balboni commented after the Championship: “This was our best season yet! We finished 1st in our conference, 6th in NECVL and 25th in the NCVF. We are losing six players this year who all have been recruited to four year schools. I am ending this season on a high note and wish all the recruited players the best of luck next year as they move on in their volleyball careers.”
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The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 16,000 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.