Warwick, R.I. – November 6, 2017: The CCRI Lady Knights volleyball team traveled to Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA to compete in the NJCAA Division II District L Championship Tournament. Playing in the tournament was Region XIX Champion Harcum College, Region XV representative SUNY-Ulster, Region XIX runner-up Delaware Tech and Region XXI representative CCRI. The Lady Knights went 2-2 losing to Harcum 2-3, beating Ulster 3-0 before beating Del Tech 3-1 then falling again to Harcum 1-3. With the 2-2 record at the Districts, The Lady Knights end their season with an impressive 23-10 record.
The District Tournament started off with a very familiar foe in host Bears of Harcum College. Two years ago Harcum beat CCRI and last year CCRI returned the favor to head to Nationals so the teams were ready for another intense showdown. The Lady Knights had met more adversity in the past week than any other team Head Coach Will Amaral has ever been a part of and still battled to a five-set match but ultimately CCRI made way too many mental errors to pull off the 5th set. The few shining lights during this match were freshman Tara Watters (West Warwick, RI) with 11 kills, 22 digs, an ace and three blocks. Sam Elkas (Cumberland, RI) had eight kills, two aces, and five blocks. Ivelisse Serrano (Providence, RI) had eight kills, an ace, 18 digs and two blocks.Roselyn Vasquez (Providence, RI) added seven kills, and Co-Captain Setter Dahlia Rafael-Tirado (Providence, RI) had 34 assists and seven digs while Shannon Moran (North Smithfield, RI) finished with seven digs, a kill, a block, and an ace.
After losing to Harcum, the Lady Knights needed a win against SUNY-Ulster to continue their season and they did just that in commanding fashion. There was a little scare in the 3rd set trailing Ulster 19-24 but with outstanding serving, the Lady Knights battled back to take the match. Tara Watters had another great game with 10 kills and 18 digs. Sam Elkasadded another seven kills, three aces and a block. Ivelisse Serrano had a great match with 10 kills, four aces, and 14 digs. Co-Captain Megan Johns (Oakland, RI) added six kills and two blocks while Dahlia Rafael Tirado had 31 assists and three aces. Shannon Moran finished with 10 digs and 2 kills.
After going 1-1 in Day 1, the Lady Knights needed a win against Del Tech to get to the Finals versus Harcum College. CCRI buckled down and played hard and were in control for pretty much the whole match Roselyn Vasquez came alive and had her best serving in her CCRI career. Vasquez ripped jump serves relentlessly to the tune of five aces while adding 12 kills and eight digs. Tara Watters had yet another great game with 14 kills and 24 digs, and two aces. Sam Elkas scored with a career-high 10 kills, two aces, and two blocks while counterpart Megan Johns added two kills and two blocks. Emily Stengel (Cumberland, RI) added an ace and 19 digs while Dahlia Tirado had 39 assists, a block, a kill, and an ace while Shannon Moran finished with 13 digs, a kill and a block.
This one was a tough one to swallow. When CCRI passed well and were confident in their serving they were unstoppable. The opponents, no matter who, couldn’t keep up with the aggressive pace the Lady Knights pushed. That being said, they were too much up and down to keep consistent pressure and Harcum just stayed the course. Roselyn Vasquez had another good match with 12 kills, two aces, and nine digs. Sam Elkas had another strong outing with 10 kills, a block, and two aces while Megan Johns added three Blocks and 1 kill. Shannon Moran had a solid game with nine digs, and a kill. Tara Watters again was a stud with 12 kills, 26 digs, an ace and two blocks. Emily Stengel controlled the backcourt with 20 digs and Dahlia Tirado added 34 assists, two aces, and a block.
Coach Amaral commented after the Championship “Never in my life have I been a part of a team (as a coach or player) that has gone through as much adversity as this one. With everything we went through, we battled and I couldn’t be more proud. No matter what was thrown at the girls they kept pushing forward and that are ultimately what we look for as coaches. Wherever our sophomores go, the teams can be guaranteed to get more heart than they will know what to do with. Now it’s on to next season where we are already starting with some new challenges but know that we will be back here again next season…only, possibly in our house!”
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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.