Warwick, R.I. – August 28, 2017: The No. 20 ranked (NJCAA DII Volleyball poll) CCRI Lady Knights volleyball team traveled to Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY to play a quad-match with Ulster County Community College, Bergen Community College and the Hosting Lions of Nassau Community College. The Lady Knights defeated Nassau CC 3-1 then beat Bergen CC 3-1 before defeating Ulster County CC 3-2 in a dramatic five game match. With the three victories the Lady Knights begin the season 3-0.
The Lady Knights kicked-off their 2017 season in style winning their first match versus a very tough opponent in the hosting Lions of Nassau Community College. Nassau was much bigger in number and stature but the Lady Knights felt if they trusted their system things could work out. CCRI played hard, especially in the chaotic situations our serving put Nassau in, and other than a slight hiccup in game three they controlled the tempo of the match. CCRI won the first two games convincingly but fell 21-25 in game three before bouncing back to take the match with a commanding 25-19 final game. The Lady Knights were led by sophomore Roselyn Vasquez (Providence, RI) who led CCRI with eight kills, four aces, nine digs, one solo block and one block assist and was responsible for 13.5 Lady Knights’ points. Vasquez was helped by freshman Tara Watters (West Warwick, RI) who had six kills, three aces and a block assists to account for 9.5 CCRI points. Also having a good match was freshman Samantha Elkas (Cumberland, RI) with six kills and two solo blocks for eight total points. Sophomore setter Dahlia Rafael-Tirado (Providence, RI) led CCRI with 18 assists while adding three service aces and seven digs. Other key pieces to the victory were Shannon Moran (North Smithfield, RI) who had nine digs, two aces, and three kills, Emily Stengel (Cumberland, RI) with nine digs and four aces and sophomore Megan Johns (Oakland, RI) coming back from season ending surgery last year had 2 solo blocks and 1 kill.
In the second match for the Lady Knights they had another very competitive match versus the Bulldogs of Bergen CC which CCRI won 3-1. As soon as the Lady Knights finished the Nassau match, they changed courts and had to battle Bergen CC. They had a super-athletic, lefty outside hitter that they knew they had to control to be victorious and we did just that. Still early in the season, the Lady Knights conditioning hasn’t peaked and it showed in set two where we lost by11. With a little refocusing and a reminder that the CCRI Lady Knights in one respect, are like the Patriots, everyone in District L is coming for us because they are the defending champs, the ladies came out on fire. They split the first two games 25-15 and 14-25 before the Lady Knights came back to dominate the final games 25-18 and 25-11. Once again, Roselyn Vasquez was a leader for CCRI with seven service aces, six kills, five digs and a solo block for 14 points. Vasquez was helped by Sam Elkas with six kills, three aces and three solo blocks for 12 total points. Also having a very good match was Tara Watters with six kills, four aces and eight digs for 10 points. Directing the CCRI offense was setter Dahlia Rafael-Tirado who authored 24 assists to go with two aces, three digs and a solo block.
The third and, by far, most competitive match of the day for the Lady Knights was versus Ulster County CC as CCRI pulled out a dramatic five set victory. The match took place just after the lunch break, against a very tall and scrappy defensive squad from SUNY-Ulster. The Lady Knights were tired and dealing with some nagging injuries from the day and didn’t play our best but still pulled out the win by controlling their offense with our serving. CCRI had a total of 21 aces in this match!! Lady Knights won the first two games by the slimmest of margins with two point victories before Ulster took it to CCRI 25-16 in the third game and then edged CCRI 25-23 in the fourth to set up the 15 point tie-breaking game. In the final game CCRI rallied to win by the final score of 15-11. Continuing on her excellent day was Roselyn Vasquez who did a little of everything with a team-leading 15 kills to go with six aces and 13 digs which helped her contribute to 21 points. Vasquez was once again buoyed by Tara Watters who had 12 kills and two aces to go with 10 digs accounting for 14 points. Also having another good match was Sam Elkas with three kills, six aces and three solo blocks to account for 12 points for CCRI. Dahlia Rafael-Tirado once again did an excellent job distributing the volleyball with 40 assists to go with three aces and four digs. Rounding out the Lady Knights top performers was Shannon Moran who had a kill, four aces, and four digs and Megan Johns who came alive with five kills out of the middle.
Head Coach Will Amaral commented after the matches: “I thought the ladies did an amazing job this weekend. The coaching staff has been working hard trying to prepare the girls for the season and we started off the best way possible, 3-0. CCRI had an astounding 92 kills, 54 aces, 12 blocks, and 104 digs in our first tournament. I cannot wait to see how this season evolves.”
The next match for the Lady Knights will be this weekend when they travel to Howard Community College in Columbia, MD to compete in the Dragon Invitational Saturday and Sunday. The first match for the Lady Knights will be Saturday at 10:30am vs Nassau Community College. The Dragon Invite tournament schedule and format can be found here: http://howardccdragons.com/sports/2015/7/15/WVB_0715151118.aspx?path=wvball
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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.