Warwick, R.I. – September 19, 2016: The CCRI Lady Knights volleyball team hosted the 2016 CCRI Volleyball classic over the weekend at the CCRI field house on the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln, RI. The 2016 Classic was an eight team tournament that featured: Bunker Hill CC out of Boston, MA; Northern Essex CC of Haverhill, MA; New Hampshire Tech of Concord, NH; Harford from Bel Air, MD; Fashion Institute (FIT) of New York, NY; Howard Community College from Columbia, MD; Delaware Tech from Dover, DE and the Lady Knights of CCRI. Each team played three pool games and then seeded for the play-offs. Pool play began Saturday and concluded Sunday morning. During pool play CCRI went a perfect 3-0! The Lady Knights defeated Bunker Hill 3-0, FIT 3-0 and Delaware tech 3-1. With the perfect 3-0 pool record CCRI improved to 10-2 as they move into the Semi-finals where they will face the Owls of Harford Community College.
First match of the tournament featured CCRI versus Region XXI opponent Bunker Hill CC. According to Head Coach Sam Amaral the Lady Knights were very excited to play at home as she commented “The Lady Knights were a little nervous, with many family members and friends watching them play for the first time in their own home own court. They wanted to show everyone here what they are made of. It took a second for the girls to wake up from an early morning but they were able to pull together. Tri-Captain Amanda LaCroix (East Freetown, MA) was a rock start playing outside the first two games and setting the second game.”
Statistically for CCRI in the in first match for the Lady Knights they were led by LaCroix who finished with nine kills and nine digs. Carol Rodriguez (Pawtucket, RI) played middle and did a great job finishing with six kills. Tri-Captain Mackenzie Easterbrooks (Plainville, MA), CCRI’s starting libero, finished with 17 digs. Katrice Bridges (Providence, RI) played right side and finished with a kill. Rosie Vasquez ((Providence, RI) had four aces and three kills. Coach Amaral added “We played as a unit and each player did their job to finish the game.”
CCRI was really excited to play FIT. In the past FIT has been a very strong opponent who has really tested the CCRI defense and offense. This year was no different. FIT came to play and came to win. Coach Amaral commented “I was very proud of the girls and what they did to take FIT to sweep FIT in three. The girls played hard to pick up the strong defensive team of FIT.”
LaCroix finished with 15 kills, 16 digs and two blocks assists. Melanie Diaz (New Bedford, MA) finished with seven kills, two aces and 26 digs. Easterbrooks finished with 29 digs and an ace. Dahlia Rafael-Tirado (Warwick, RI) had 35 assist, two aces and two digs. Alexis Mirabile (Cranston, RI) finished with five kills, three digs, a solo block and two block assist. Carol Rodriguez once again did a great job as a middle this game finishing with five kills, two blocks and an ace.
“This was an amazing game to watch as a coach!” commented Head Coach Sam Amaral. She added “Assistant Coach Will Amaral took the lead defensively with this team and I have to say he made some great adjustments. We as a team struggled to close the right side block and Delaware Tech took full advantage of that and won game one. Game two Coach Will made a few major adjustments for the block on the right side. The one thing I am most impressed with was the girl’s ability to adjust so well defensively to our opponent. CCRI then went to win the game in four. We know we will see Delaware Tech in Districts and are looking forward to an amazing match!” Our starting setter Dahlia Rafael-Tirado had 38 assist and 17 digs. Melanie Diaz had eight kills, four aces and 40 digs. Mackenzie Easterbrooks was just ahead of Melanie with 46 digs, a kill and an ace. Angelis Perez (Central Falls, RI) finished with 22 digs and a kill. Tri-Captain Amanda LaCroix was maintained “rock star” status in the match with 20 kills, two aces, a block and 27 digs. Alexis Mirabile had three kills two blocks, three block assist and two digs. Carol Rodriguez finished with five kills and a block assist. Tri-Captain Hailey Smith (Cumberland, RI) was close behind with a kill, two digs and four block assists.
The Lady Knights will advance to the semi-finals at 3pm to face a very potent Harford squad who has beaten Howard CC which was the only team to beat CCRI this year
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.