Warwick, R.I. – April 11, 2016: The CCRI Knights Men’s Club Volleyball team competed in the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) National tournament last week for the second straight year. The Knights advanced to the silver bracket this time around as they finished 15th in the Silver. The Knights also improved their overall ranking to 31st, ten spots higher than in 2015.
For the second straight year, CCRI was the only junior college team to compete in the NCVF Championships. The Knights would face the daunting task of competing with major programs, but for the second straight year, the Knights would make a statement.
Day One definitely did not go as planned for the Knights as they struggled against some tough competition. Their first game was against Ohio State, who took the win 25-19 and 25-19. CCRI would then face Liberty University, who beat the Knights 25-21 and 25-12. CCRI finished the day playing against the University of Alabama. The Knights fought hard, winning the second set 25-23, but still took the loss after losing the third set.
CCRI kept fighting though and it paid off on the second day. The Knights beat Edinboro University in the first game of the day 25-14 and 26-24. The win sparked the Knights and they carried it into their next game which they beat Washington State, 25-23 and 25-22. The two wins allowed CCRI to sneak into the silver bracket, which was already ahead of where they placed in 2015.
Once in the silver bracket, the tournament turns into a win or go home type scenario. CCRI was a No. 15 seed which meant they would face the No. 2 seed, Marquette University. The Knights were flustered in the first set, dropping it 25-15. The Knights would not go down easy though as they took the second set 25-20. The third set stayed close, but in the end Marquette took the win 15-12, eliminating the Knights.
Tournament statistical highlights included: Eric Towne (Riverside, RI)had28 kills and four aces, Jonathan Menard (West Warwick, RI) had 40 kills and three aces and Jake Johnson (Warwick, RI) had 24 kills and eight aces. Also playing well for CCRI was Derek Lewis (Boston, MA) had 29 kills, Eric Silveira (Pawtucket, RI) had 16 kills, while Peng Lee (Providence, RI) and Silveira combined for a total of 137 assists.
Head Coach Anne-Marie Balboni had this to say about her team’s season, “We had a tough season with tough competitive games against really good competition. We finished very well in New England, and had an awesome finish at Nationals. We draw attention to ourselves as the four year college’s look at CCRI to recruit our talented athletes. These boys make me very proud to be part of the Knight community.”
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.