Warwick, R.I. – September 5, 2017: The No. 20 ranked (NJCAA DII poll) CCRI Lady Knights volleyball team traveled to Howard Community College in Columbia, MD to compete in the Dragon Invitational Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday CCRI competed in pool play and had a very tough day. CCRI fell in a hard fought 3-2 match to Nassau CC, and then falling 3-0 to the hosting Dragons of Howard CC before rallying to defeat a very tough CCBC-Essex squad 3-2 to end the first day 1-2. With the 1-2 start the Lady Knights’ record now stands at 4-2 on the season.
The Lady Knights once again battled Nassau CC at the Dragon Invite after playing them the week before in Garden City, NY . CCRI started off very slowly making a lot of mental errors but came back only to fall short by three points in first set. The second set was much more like CCRI volleyball. They served tough and got a lot of kills in defensive transition. The Lady Knights fell in a hard-fought battle where they had a seven point lead at one point. A tough serving run by Nassau negated that lead and Nassau won by two points. However CCRI decided they weren’t going down without a fight and came right out on fire in the 4th set. In the fifth set the team just made too many errors on defense and serving to overcome the constant pressure by Nassau eventually losing 10-15. Dahlia Rafael-Tirado (Providence, RI) finished the match with 25 assists, 12 digs, and 4 aces. New addition to the Lady Knights Ivelisse Serrano (Arecibo, PR) had three aces, three kills and 12 digs. Angelis Perez (Central Falls, RI) had five aces and 13 digs while Emily Stengel (Cumberland, RI) finished with 18 digs.
After about an hour to mull over the team’s first loss of the season, The Lady Knights had to play the host Howard Community College. The Dragons always give CCRI a great game, usually five set matches, but today the Lady Knights could not pull themselves out of their rut. Even after Howard lost a middle hitter/blocker to injury, the Lady Knights couldn’t overcome the multitude of errors (over 40) in the match. Some bright spots were Dahlia Tirado with 14 digs and 19 assists. Ivelisse Serrano finished with six kills and five digs while Tara Watters (West Warwick, RI) had six kills and a block.
The Lady Knights’ final match of a long first day was immediately following the Howard CC debacle. CCRI played a very tough defensive/serving team in CCBC Essex and after dropping the first two sets in dramatic fashion Head Coach Will Amaral reminded the girls “We just need to play as a team and play ‘Lady Knights’ volleyball.” The girls did an absolute amazing job rallying around each other and pulling out a crazy victory in five sets! This match was filled with more incredible plays and rallies, on both sides, than one could imagine and the stands were electric. Roselyn Vasquez (Providence, RI) was an absolute terminator with all of our Set 5 kills herself, six in total!!! Here is a quick rundown of our CCRI’s top performers: Dahlia Tirado had 40 assists, four kills, nine digs and a block. Vasquez had a total of 19 kills, an ace, and 26 digs
Sam Elkas (Cumberland, RI) had five Aces, eight kills, five digs and two blocks and Angelis Perez had two aces, two kills, and 29 digs. Rounding out the top performers was Ivelisse with eight kills, eight digs and an ace, Tara Watters with four kills, 12 digs and two ace while
Shannon Moran (North Smithfield, RI) finished with 16 digs, all of which were at key points in the match!
Coach Amaral commented after a long first day “Day 1 was filled with so many ups and downs but the Lady Knights continue to impress me with their resiliency. Day 2 will bring its own challenges but we are now definitely ready for those challenges!”
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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.