Warwick, R.I. – September 6, 2016: The CCRI Lady Knights volleyball team traveled to Columbia, MD to compete in the Howard Community College Dragon Invite. On the first day CCRI faced off against Brookdale Community College Jersey Blues from Middletown, NJ and then the Knights of CCBC-Essex from Baltimore, MD. The Lady Knights swept the day one matches beating Brookdale: 25-15, 25-14 and 25-12 and Essex: 25-20, 25-14 and 25-13. With the two victories CCRI begins the season with a 5-0 record.
This was the second tournament of the season and the Lady Knights played great. Though they began a little slowly in the beginning of the first game but quickly were able to pull it together and play their game. Brookdale played a fast defense with balls coming over on one and two. The Lady Knights adjusted very well to this and they did it quickly. According to Head Coach Sam Amaral “What I think was the best part of the game is, in game one, I put in the wrong line up which messed everything from serve receive to match ups. My girls just went with it, they played in positions they normally don’t and dominated. I was so proud of my girls for just going with it and playing volleyball.” Statistically leading the way for CCRI was Melanie Diaz (New Bedford, MA) who finished with six kills, five aces and 12 digs. Amanda LaCroix (East Freetown, MA) was close behind with four kills. Haley Smith(Cumberland, RI) was a powerhouse in the front row with four very big blocks and five kills. Mackenzie Easterbrooks (Plainville, MA) was our starting Libero and finished with eight digs. While Angelis Perez (Central Falls, RI) as our starting Defensive Specialist and had six digs.
The first game CCRI played pretty slowly but quickly amped-up to play more and more like a team. The Lady Knights struggled at first to talk to each other and were scared to lose. Coach Amaral called a timeout and reminded the girls that “Volleyball is a game of mistakes and we will lose if we play afraid. We can’t be afraid to lose or make mistake, but we have to remember to play like a team.” The Lady Knights in game two and three pulled it together and played very well! Coach Amaral added “I was so proud of them, they were losing in each game and came back to fight for each other. I can’t wait to see this team continue to grow.” Dahlia Rafael- Tirado(Warwick, RI) finished with 28 assist. Amanda LaCroix finished the match and was a powerhouse for us with 12 kills and 19 digs. Haley Smith continued to dominate the front row with 7 kills and Megan Johns (Burrillville, RI) was closely behind her with five kills. Melanie Diaz finished the game with six aces.
Sunday at 10 am the Lady Knights face host Howard CC who has the same 2-0 record in the tournament.
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.