Lady Knights volleyball nets first victory at Nassau

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The Community College of Rhode Island Lady Knights volleyball team recently traveled to Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York, to compete in the Nassau Invitational for their first matches of the 2019 Season.

The Lady Knights faced the Bears of Harcum College from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; the Lions of Raritan Valley Community College from Branchburg, New Jersey; and the hosting Lions of Nassau Community College.

The Lady Knights lost the first match to Harcum in a close battle, 3-2, then fell to Raritan Valley 3-1 but rebounded to end the day with a 3-0 victory over the hosting Lions of Nassau CC 3-0 to begin the season 1-2.

CCRI: 2

Harcum College: 3

(25-16, 16-25, 25-16, 14-25 & 12-15)

The Lady Knights faced an old nemesis in their first of the 2019 season the Harcum Bears, a team they have faced four times in the District Championship. Unfortunately in this match-up, CCRI would come up on the short end of the stick in a tough 3-2 five-setter that went back-and-forth. CCRI took the first set 25-16 before Harcum came back and won by the same score in the second set. The Lady Knights made it 2-1 by winning the third set by a familiar 25-16 score before Harcum tied it 2-2 with a 25-14 victory in set 4. In the 15-point tiebreaker, the Bears edged the Lady Knights 15-12 to hand CCRI their first defeat of the season.

Leading the way for the Lady Knights was freshman Marilyn McKay (Warwick) with an excellent all-around game consisting of eight Service Aces two Kills and two Solo Blocks to give CCRI 12 points. Freshman Alexis Baffoni (Coventry) also had a very good match with three Kills and six Service Aces for nine points. Sophomore Manuela Restrepo (Central Falls) had three Kills and four services which resulted in seven points, while adding five Digs on defense and freshman Sydney Trudeau (Cumberland) added six Kills and an Ace for seven total points. Freshman Gabriella Blumenstock (Warwick) ran the offense well with 16 assists and helped on defense with six Digs.

CCRI: 1

Raritan Valley CC: 3

(25-21, 12-25, 16-25 & 9-25)

In their second match, the Lady Knights won the first set 25-21 but then lost the next three 25-21, 25-16 and 25-9. CCRI started the match playing very well, but then Raritan gained momentum and rolled to sweep the final three sets. The Lady Knights did well from the service line with 18 service aces but only managed 10 kills and that is just not going to get it done. Gabriella Blumenstock led the way with six aces and Manuela Restrepo added five aces, but Raritan cruised to the 3-1 victory.

CCRI: 3

Nassau CC: 0

(27-25, 25-23 & 25-16)

The Lady Knights were eager to get their first win of the season and it showed in the third match of the Nassau Invite. Though each set was very close, the Lady Knights played as a cohesive unit to thwart the attempts of the Hosting Lions of Nassau on their home court. CCRI won the first two sets by the narrowest of margins, 27-25 and 25-23, before taking the third set 25-16 to earn their first victory of the 2019 season.

Leading the way once again for the Lady Knights was freshman Marilyn McKay with a team-high six kills, with two service aces for 11 points and added three digs on defense. Freshman Alexis Baffoni also played very well with five kills, three aces for eight points while also adding three digs. CCRI also got key contributions from sophomore Manuela Restrepo with five kills and two aces and freshmen Sydney Trudeau with four kills and three aces. Both scored seven points for CCRI. Also having an excellent match was setter Gabriella Blumenstock with 22 assists, five aces and one solo block for six total points. The Lady Knights have a little over two-week layoff before their next match Monday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m., when they will host the Warriors of Massasoit Community College from Brockton for a Region XXI non-league match.

For all things CCRI Athletics, be sure to follow @CCRIAthletics on Instagram and Twitter.

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