CCRI men’s club volleyball team traveled to University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH to compete in the New England Club Volleyball League (NECVL) Division II Championship. The Knights came into the tournament ranked seventh. However, after and undefeated first day CCRI was the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs and ended-up finishing in second place overall Tufts University who came into the tournament as the top seed.
With a 33 match season, playing in both the NECVL and versus NCAA teams, the CCRI Knights’ team entered Championships with the experience and heart to win. On the first day the Knights went undefeated. First they defeated University of New England 25-15 and 25-22 before taking down the University of New Haven 25-23, 25-27, and 15-7. The Knights later defeated Fairfield University 19-25, 25-22, and 15-8 and ended the perfect day by taking down Sacred Heart University 25-13 and 25-17.
With the perfect day the Knights entered the play-off round on Sunday as one of the top seeded teams with Tufts. To begin the day the Knights had the home court advantage and defeated Bryant University in the Quarter-final 25-13 and 25-17. They advanced the Semi-final where the defeated Holy Cross 25-22 and 25-23 to advance to the NECVL championship versus Co-No.1 seed and undefeated Tufts University.
After switching gyms and courts for the Finals the Knights squared-off against Tufts University who were also undefeated but the magic for the Knight was gone as the fell in their final match of the Championships 17-25 and 23-25. However, this was a tremendous performance for the Knights who came in ranked No. 7 but put it all together when it counted to have arguably their best tournament of the year. The Knight end their great season with an n impressive 13-4 NECVL record.
Leading the way for the Knights were Brendan Baker (North Kingstown, RI) and Tommy Reyes (Providence, RI) who both Earned All-Tournament Team honors for their efforts at the Championship. Baker had 81 kills and two aces on the day while Reyes had seven kills, three aces, and led the Knights’ offense with an incredible 165 assists! Also helping CCRI was Brandon Tordoff (Coventry, RI) who had 36 kills and six aces, Shawn Mulso (Scituate, RI) had 16 kills and two aces, and Elson Abotsi (Pawtucket, RI) had 26 kills. Rounding out the Knights’ top performers was Chris Maiello (Scituate, RI) with seven kills while Jeff Ramos (Pawtucket, RI), Chris Fitta (Warwick, RI), and Chris Weston (West Warwick, RI) combined for 106 digs.
Head Club Volleyball Coach Anne-Maria Balboni commented after the Tournament “I'm so proud of this year's team. It's a long season when you are in it, but in the end it was great to see all the hard work pays off!”
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.