The Community College of Rhode Island had a very successful campaign in volleyball this past season, finishing one game shy from the national tournament.
A big reason for its success was sophomore Tara Watters, who was recently named the CCRI women’s volleyball Most Valuable Player.
“I was truly humbled to be given this award. I earned this award because of my teammates. It takes a whole team to pass, set, and kill in volleyball. If I could I would break up the MVP award into multiple pieces and share it with my teammates because it's a team effort,” said Watters.
The West Warwick native was the leader of the team both on and off the court and was quickly recognized as one of the top players in the National Junior College Athletic Association this past season.
Although the Knights’ season was cut short, Watters was proud of her team and the fight that it showed until the very end.
“The CCRI team faced some difficulties throughout this season. Yet, we overcame those difficulties as a team and continued the fight in hopes to advance to nationals. Sadly, we lost in finals against Harrcum Community College, who was a well put together team. I would not change a thing though, we win as a team and lose as a team, unfortunately that day we came up short,” said Watters
Although the Knights will likely see some roster turnover next season, Watters believes that CCRI will be poised to make another deep run.
“Although many players are graduating and moving on to further their education, I know that the remaining players will fight even harder next season to advance to nationals, which I know they are more than capable of doing,” said Watters.
Watters will be attending Rhode Island College next year but is unsure if she will continue her volleyball career in order to focus on her studies. However, Watters plans to stay involved in the volleyball community, and considers it a lifelong passion.
“I believe if I work hard and keep playing, that I will enhance my skills to better myself. I'm graduating from CCRI this summer session and will be attending RIC in the fall. I am still deciding whether or not to play for RIC, solely because I want to focus on my studies. I wish to incorporate volleyball in my life as I grow old and share my knowledge to athletes who are willing to listen,” said Waters.
Despite all of her success on the court, Watters believes that there is still room to grow in her performance and hopes to continue to improve as a player whether it is in competition or not.
“I would not say that I am successful in volleyball yet because I know that I need to improve in some areas,” said Watters. “I always critique myself on what I can do to enhance my skills. I play whenever I can, wherever is available, whether that be grass, indoor, or beach.”