The CCRI Lady Knights volleyball team traveled to New Hampshire Tech in Concord, New Hampshire, to compete in the New Hampshire Tech Lynx Volleyball Invitational on Saturday. The Lady Knights went 3-1 and won the tournament Championship. CCRI defeated Bunker Hill CC, 3-0, but lost to Morton College from Cicero, Illinois, 3-1.
In the tournament playoffs, CCRI beat host NHTI, 2-0, and then avenged its earlier loss to Morton College in the championship match, 2-0.
Lady Knights’ sophomore middle hitter Carol Rodriguez (Pawtucket, R.I.) was named Tournament MVP, while freshman setter Dahlia Rafael-Tirado (Warwick, R.I.) earned All-Tournament honors. With the 3-1 tournament record, the Lady Knights improve to 16-3 on the season and 3-0 in Region XXI play.
CCRI defeats NHTI: 25-17, 25-14
Head Coach Samantha Amaral commented after the semifinal victory, “This Lady Knights squad was fired up to play in the semifinals. After a tough loss from Morton, the girls were determined to make it to the finals and beat NHTI. The girls played together, they were loud and aggressive. When the girls are not afraid to make mistakes, that is when we win. I was very happy to have this win under our belt. It is always fun to play NHTI, they are a great group of girls with a strong program.”
Rafael-Tirado had 19 assists, an ace and four digs and Amanda LaCroix finished with 10 kills and four aces. Melanie Diaz had three kills, an ace and 10 digs. Angie Perez
had three aces and four digs and Alexis Mirabile had two kills and four solo blocks. Rounding out the CCRI stat sheet was Rodriguez with five kills, an ace, three digs and two solo blocks, while Mackenzie Easterbrooks had an assist, an ace and nine digs.
CCRI defeats Morton College: 25-17, 25-23
Amaral commented after the big victory: “The Lady Knights were ready to play Morton again. They had a fire in their bellies and knew they were going to win this game. As a coach, I was so proud of the girls to have the ability to lose to a team in pool play and be able to come out Game 1 and win, 25-17. Game 2 was amazing to watch. Morton was up 15-6. This game was best-of-three and the girls lost their fire. We called a timeout and reminded the girls that, not only is it a best-to-three, but if this was the third game, they would have already lost. The girls were determined to win this game in two. Melanie Diaz did an absolutely amazing job behind the service line in Game 2 getting the Lady Knights five aces. This gave the girls hope that they could actually take this game from Morton. The girls fought hard to protect our net and very few balls dropped without a body right behind it trying to pick it up. I was so proud that we won this game.”
Statistically for CCRI, Rafael-Tirado
finished with 21 assists and seven digs and LaCroix
had six kills and 16 digs, while Diaz was right with LaCroix, adding six kills, six aces and 14 digs. Perez finished with two aces and two digs. Mirabile
was big in the front row with six kills and two solo blocks. Also playing a big role was Rodriguez with two kills, three digs and a solo block, while Easterbrooks had an assist, an ace and 20 digs.
The next match for CCRI will be Saturday, October 8, when it hosts the Knights of Northern Essex Community College from Haverhill, Massachusetts, and the Lady Bulldogs of Bunker Hill CC for its annual Dig Pink Tri-Match.