Lincoln, RI November 6, 2016: The CCRI Lady Knights Volleyball Team (22-5) hosted the NJCAA Division II Volleyball District L Championship Match versus Harcum College (15-11) from Bryn Mawr, PA on Sunday. CCRI was in winner's bracket but lost their first match of the championship matches 2-3 but won the second match 3-0 to earn a berth in the NJCAA DII National Championship Tournament in West Virginia Nov 17-19th. Lady Knights’ volleyball returns to Nationals for first time since 2008!
CCRI falls to Harcum in first Championship match: 25-14, 20-25, 17-25, 25-21 & 12-15
Harcum College came into the Morning Championship match with tremendous confidence and momentum after defeating Delaware Tech in the second elimination match 3-0. It was the first time the Bears had defeated the Hawks the entire season and the Bears did it in convincing fashion culminating in the 29-27 set three victory. CCRI had something to prove as well as they did not want to lose the match and force a winner take all final match scenario. CCRI won the first set convincingly 25-14. Harcum would not be denied though. The Bears came back and won sets two and three 25-20 and 25-17 and had the Lady Knights on their heels. CCRI battled to win the fourth set 25-21 but fell in the final set in an exciting manner 12-15 giving Harcum the 3-2 victory and forcing a winner take all last Championship match.
Once again, the Lady Knights had to play defensively in this match charting a tournament high 152 total team digs. Leading the way was Tri-Captain Amanda LaCroix (East Freetown, MA) with 46 digs and 11 kills and Melanie Diaz (New Bedford, MA) with 33 digs, nine kills and an ace. Tri-Captain Mackenzie Easterbrooks (Plainville, MA) added 40 digs while Carol Rodriguez (Pawtucket, RI) had eight kills and three solo blocks. The team records are now Harcum: 15-10 and CCRI: 21-5 before final District Championship match
Championship Final Match: CCRI defeats Harcum: 25-21, 25-20 & 25-14
After taking their first loss in the District Tournament the Lady Knights had to re-group. They had not lost their confidence but did decide to change their mojo a little by changing into their pink uniforms for the final match. Everything came together for CCRI in this match as they were able to take the first set 25-21 in a very hard fought contest, never being separated by more than three points as both teams battled back and forth with long rallies and maximum effort by all players on both teams. The second set was just as intense and close with the Lady Knights once again pulling out the late victory as they won 25-20. In the last set it looked like Harcum had just run out of gas. The Bears played very hard all weekend but had nothing left which allowed the Lady Knights to win comfortably 25-14 and win the District L Championship.
Records after District Championship: CCRI 22-5 and Harcum 15-11.
Leading the way for the Lady Knights was Amanda LaCroix with a team-high 15 kills and 19 digs with the help of Melanie Diaz with nine kills and 17 digs. LaCroix had one heck of a tournament with 50 kills, five aces, 106 digs, three solo blocks and two block assists. Mackenzie Easterbrooks led CCRI with 30 digs while Dahlia Rafael-Tirado (Warwick, RI) had 25 assists, seven digs and two aces and Carol Rodriguez had seven kills and two solo blocks.
The Lady Knights now turn their focus to the NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament to be held at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, WV November 17-19th.
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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.