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Fall Sports Highlights

Fall Sports Highlights

Thomas Named MVP of Mid-Hudson Conference

Shannon Thomas was chosen Most Valuable Player of the Mid-Hudson Conference for her outstanding season-long play for the RCC Women’s Volleyball team. The selection was based on a vote by the coaches of the six conference teams.

Thomas, a freshman middle hitter out of North Rockland HS, spearheaded the Hawks to the conference championship game and to the quarterfinals of the Region 15 playoffs. She led the team in kills, kills per set, total blocks, blocks per set and total points. She also was second on the team in digs and services aces, and had earned Conference Athlete of the Week honors for the week of October 10-16.

Sara Hayward, a freshman setter from Suffern HS, earned a berth on the All-Conference first team. She paced the Hawks in assists and aces and was second on the team in blocks. Hayward was one of six first-team selections, joining two players each from SUNY Orange and Ulster and one from Westchester CC.

November 7, 2016

Volleyball Team Falls to Orange in Region 15 Playoffs
Hawks finish runner-up in Mid-Hudson Conference

The Women’s Volleyball team extended host Orange County CC to five sets before dropping a tight 3-2 decision in the Region 15 Tournament quarterfinals on October 27 in Middletown, NY. The set scores were 25-22, 26-28, 25-14, 24-26, 22-20. RCC entered as the No. 5 seed and SUNY Orange was No. 4.

Shannon Thomas, a freshman middle hitter out of North Rockland HS, led the Hawks with 12 kills, 12 digs and 8 blocks. Sara Hayward, a freshman setter from Suffern HS, recorded 22 assists and 10 digs, and sophomore middle hitter Kayla Roper, out of Tappan Zee HS, added 8 kills and 10 digs.

The Hawks, under Coach Erik Ellingsen, completed an impressive season of 12 wins and 10 losses and qualified for the regional tourney after missing out last year.

RCC also turned in a stellar performance in the inaugural Mid-Hudson Conference tournament, advancing to the championship match before bowing to top-seeded Orange County CC, 3 sets to 0. All three sets had identical scores of 25-21. The tournament was held on October 25 at SUNY Orange.

To reach the finals, No. 3-seeded RCC upset No. 2 seed Ulster CC, 3 sets to 0 in the semifinals. The set scores were 25-18, 25-18, 25-6. Thomas spearheaded the Hawks’ offensive attack and Hayward supplied effective two-way play.

RCC wound up finishing third in the conference during the regular season with an 8-5 record. The Mid-Hudson Conference comprises the community colleges from Rockland, Orange, Westchester, Ulster, Sullivan and Dutchess counties.

Region 15 Division III of the NJCAA encompasses 13 schools in the mid-Hudson, CUNY system and Long Island.

Thomas and Hayward also reaped post-season accolades, capturing spots on the 2016 Region 15 Division III All-Region team. Thomas, a first-team honoree, led the Hawks in kills, kills per set, blocks and total points. She previously earned Athlete of the Week laurels from the Mid-Hudson Conference for the week of October 10-16.

Hayward, who garnered an honorable mention berth, paced the Hawks in assists and aces and was second on the team in blocks.

November 2, 2016

Men’s Soccer Bows to Suffolk in Region 15 Playoffs

The RCC Men’s Soccer team wrapped up a successful season under first-year Coach Danny Samimi by advancing to the semifinal round of the 2016 NJCAA Region 15 Division III Tournament. The No. 5-ranked Hawks succumbed to top-seeded Suffolk County CC, 3-0, on October 26 at Suffolk’s Selden, NY campus.

RCC was forced to play shorthanded after sophomore midfielder and co-captain Arhin Asamoah of Spring Valley received a red card in the game’s first minute, disqualifying him from further play. The Hawks battled the nationally ranked Sharks to a standstill until the 68th minute, when Suffolk scored the game’s first goal. RCC then opened up its offense attempting to score the equalizer, but in the process left its defense exposed and Suffolk capitalized with two more goals.

“We had our opportunities but could not convert,” said Samimi, whose team finished with a 6-6 record in the region and 6-8 overall. “Suffolk gave us a lot of respect. We had lost to them 6-1 at home earlier in the season. We improved a lot over the course of the season.”

Playing well in defeat for the Hawks were sophomore defender Justin Gordon of Brooklyn, freshman defender Peter Mongan of Orange County, and freshman forward Kenny Aviles, out of Albertus Magnus HS.

Three RCC players earned berths on the Region 15 Division III All-Region team: Dylan Allum, a sophomore midfielder from New City and Clarkstown North HS, who secured first-team honors; Gordon, second team; and Joe Greeley, a sophomore forward from New City and Clarkstown South HS, honorable mention.

Five Hawks also received All-Mid-Hudson Conference honors. First-team recognition was awarded to Allum; Luis Birchett, a freshman forward from Panama; and Jose Robles-Lopez, a freshman midfielder from Colombia. Second-team laurels went to Gordon and Greeley.

October 31, 2016

Men’s Soccer Thwarts Westchester CC in Region 15 Playoffs

Spurred by second-half goals from Luis Birchett and Kenny Aviles, the Men’s Soccer team upset host Westchester Community College, 2-1, in a quarterfinal match on October 22 to advance to the semifinal round of the 2016 NJCAA Region 15 Division III Tournament. The No. 5-seeded Hawks avenged a 6-1 loss to the No. 4-seeded Vikings during the regular season.

RCC travels to top-seeded Suffolk CC on Wednesday, October 26 for their semifinal match. Dutchess CC plays host Nassau CC in the other semi the same day, with the championship game slated for October 29.

The Hawks trailed by 1-0 at halftime against Westchester before goals by Birchett, a freshman forward from Panama, and Aviles, a freshman forward out of Albertus Magnus HS, turned the game in their favor. Freshman Kevin Maloney, normally a right fullback on defense, stepped in as goalkeeper and filled the role admirably. RCC has lost three goalkeepers this season due to injury or ineligibility.

Coach Danny Samimi made a tactical adjustment that paid dividends in the victory, shifting his alignment of players from 4 backfield, 4 midfield and 2 forward, to 4 backfield, 2 midfield, 3 forward and 1 striker. The two defensive midfielders were rotated in and out constantly to maintain freshness.

“The main reason for our win was our players’ discipline; they were more disciplined than ever before,” Samimi said. “I gave everyone a defined role, and they all delivered.”

October 24, 2016

Thomas Named Athlete of the Week in Mid-Hudson Conference

Ramapo - Shannon Thomas, a freshman volleyball player from Garnerville, NY, earned Athlete of the Week honors from the Mid-Hudson Conference for her stellar play the week of October 10-16.

Thomas, a middle hitter out of North Rockland HS, paced the Hawks last week with 62 kills, 40 digs and 9 solo blocks over 12 sets. During a Region XV doubleheader last weekend against Fashion Institute of Technology and Borough of Manhattan CC, which RCC split, Thomas led the way with a combined 37 kills and 26 digs.

The Hawks remain in third place and in qualifying position for the Mid-Hudson Conference tournament on October 23 at Orange County CC.

The Athlete of the Week designation encompasses all sports for both men and women for the six community colleges that make up the conference.

October 19, 2016

Women’s Volleyball on the Rise

The RCC Women’s Volleyball team is gathering momentum heading into the Mid-Hudson Conference tournament. As of October 13 the Lady Hawks have posted a record of 7 victories and only 3 losses in Region XV, which encompasses 13 schools in downstate New York, and are positioned among the top three in the six-team Mid-Hudson Conference. Coach Erik Ellingsen’s squad sports an overall mark of 7-5.

RCC has been spearheaded by a quartet of outstanding players, all products of Rockland County schools. Freshmen Shannon Thomas and Nicole Polanco, both North Rockland HS alumnae, pace the Lady Hawks at middle hitter and outside hitter, respectively. Freshman Sara Hayward from Suffern HS is the team’s top setter, and sophomore Kayla Roper, out of Tappan Zee HS, adds depth at middle hitter.

Coach Ellingsen is hopeful his players can continue their winning trend heading into the conference tournament, to be held October 25 at the top-seeded school, currently Orange County CC.

“We are still in the running to claim the top spot in the conference,” he said. “Our team is much improved. We have well-seasoned athletes with a strong desire to win and finish games.”

October 13, 2016

Men’s Soccer Playoff-Bound

Ramapo - The Men’s Soccer team, under the direction of first-year Coach Danny Samimi, has qualified for the Mid-Hudson Conference tournament after missing out last year. The Hawks have posted a record of 4 wins and 5 losses as of October 10 to earn the No. 5 seed in the eight-team, single-elimination format.

RCC has one game to go in the regular season, a home match versus Ulster CC on October 13 that has no bearing on the playoff standings. The Hawks travel to the Borough of Manhattan CC on October 17 for their first-round playoff game with the No. 4-ranked Blue Panthers.

Leading RCC in scoring thus far is Panamanian native Luis Birchett, a freshman forward who has five goals and two assists. Dylan Allum, a sophomore out of Clarkstown North High School, provides a steadying influence at midfield and has been the team’s most consistent player. Freshman Patrick Martin of Orange County played well in goal before going down with a broken thumb midway through the season. Freshman Kevin Lazaro of Poughkeepsie, NY has filled in admirably in the nets the past four games.

Two other freshman players who have contributed significantly to the team’s success are defensive midfielder Jose Robles Lopez of Colombia, a strong playmaker, and defender Peter Mongan of Orange County.

“There is a good chemistry on this team,” Coach Samimi said. “The players are disciplined and well-behaved, and all are good students as well.”

October 12, 2016