The CCRI Lady Knights’ volleyball team hosted the Lady Tigers of Queensborough Community College from Bayside, NY. The Lady Knights defeated the Lady tigers 11-25, 52-16, 25-17, 22-25, and 17-15 to win the best-of-five match 3-2. With the victory the Lady Knights begin the season 1-0.
Set one: 11-25 Queensborough: “Set one was a difficult one to swallow.” Commented CCRI Head Coach Sam Amaral after the match was over. The Lady Knights came on the court extremely nervous but with the heart to win. The girls all wanted the win to start off the season and the pressure of wanting to win got to be too much for the girls. CCRI lost the game and struggled to keep the positive attitudes on the court. Amaral added “I took both time outs very early in the game and told the girls that we needed to play OUR game not theirs. Queensborough had a lot of good talent but I knew my girls could overcome and win. Unfortunately we were unable to dig ourselves out of the massive whole we put ourselves in.”
Set two: 25-16 CCRI: Set two was better. Coach Amaral reminded them what they had been practicing for in the preseason: the hard work, determination and commitment they put into practice every day for the last month. They were not going down without a fight. CCRI won that game not because they killed the ball but because they were consistent.
Tri-Captain Janny Cabrera (Providence, RI) was more of a force with seven kills and 3.5 blocks. Freshman setter Alyssa Salinas (Corpus Christi, TX) finished the set with five assist, a kill, an ace, and half a block. Salinas fought for hard for her teammates. No ball hit the floor without her body hitting the floor. Alyssa did very well with changing up the offence and taking over the game. Sarah Keomorokot (Providence, RI) in the back row was CCRI’s most consistent passer, helping the Lady Knights by not allowing our opponents’ tough serves to keep them out of their system.
Set three: 25-17 CCRI: The Lady Knights began to play with more confidence and started to truly believe that they could win and played “lights out”. Coach Amaral commented “I could see the team blossom point after point. The moment to truly test us was when out primary outside hitter Sarah Keomorokot this game went down with an injury. We began with seven players, the team however didn't panic. Libero Haley Greenwood (Goldsboro, NC) had to move to the outside hitter position. She was ready to take on the challenge and help the Lady Knights continue to defeat QCC. Haley finished the game with two kills. Also helping CCRI was Alyssa Salinas once again with four kills, hitting with 60% efficiency, adding five digs, and four assists. In addition Salinas’ six serves kept QCC out of system making it easier for CCRI to rack up some points. Janny Cabrera finished set three with three assist, six kills, and one solo block.
Set four: 22-25 Queensborough: Set four was a challenge for the CCRI. The team struggled adjusting to their new positions on the court. The girls just couldn't close the door after digging themselves out of a 16 to 9 deficit. Cabrera finished the game with nine digs, three blocks, five kills and an ace. Jincy Phann (Cranston, RI) had three clutch digs and one ace to assist the Lady Knights in getting out of the 16-9 deficit. Greenwood finished the game with 11 digs and one kill.
Set five: 17-15 CCRI: Prior to starting this game Coach Amaral told her team “This is where true character is going to come out. You that have the most heart and the most fight which is why you will win this match.” Though both teams showed tremendous heart and character it was CCRI that came out on top in the fifth and deciding set of the match. Trailing 12-14 and 13-14 the deciding game to 15 (win by two) the Lady Knights rallied to defeat Queensborough 17-15 to pull out the win in their first match of the year. Janny Cabrera finished the set with two assist, five kills, six digs, a half block while Alyssa Salinas finished the game with five assist, four kills, four digs and a block.
Coach Amaral added “You know as a coach I could not have been prouder of my girls. Each one of the girls was playing a different position and doing things they don't practice every day. The girls showed true athleticism. To end the match we had only six players (just enough to play the set). The girls didn't let that be the excuse on why they could lose. The Lady Knights kept their heads up and said ‘keep playing our game, keep fighting as a team.” Amaral responded "YES! One team…one voice. This set I saw why I am so proud of my girls and what they did. I can only see good things happening this season.
The next volleyball match for the Lady Knights will be Wednesday when they travel to Concord, NH to play the Lynx of New Hampshire Tech in at 7:00pm.
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.