Volleyball team on road to improvement

In recent years, the Rhode Island College women’s volleyball team had to face adversity when it came to winning matches. The 2009 edition is off to a 9-9 start, which passes the 2008 team’s mark of eight wins.

Luis Carvalho
With only seniors Kristen Johnson (East Providence) and Sharon Corriveau (Coventry), along with junior Tess Heidel (Warwick) returning in 2009, head coach Luis Carvalho had to turn to young players to step in and play a big role on the squad.

Leading the way are players like Kalyn Archer (Warwick) and Breanna Boyer (West Greenwich). Archer leads the team in service aces and blocks with 20 and 59, while Boyer is leading the team with 144 kills on the season and is third on the team with 135 digs.

“Lately the freshmen have been showing themselves,” Carvalho said. “Here is Boyer coming in as a freshman and is our leading hitter, and her serve is awesome.” When asked about Archer, Carvalho said, “She is doing excellent and is learning everyday.”

With only three players returning in 2009, Carvalho had to teach his system to 11 new players and a new assistant coach, Sarah Johnson. He now feels he has a clean slate to start from so he can instill his method of winning.

Sharon Corriveau
The Anchorwomen were hot right out of the gate as they won their first four matches. “It was nice to say that we were 4-0,” Corriveau said about the great start her team was off to. “Right from the start, everyone was connecting. It was a great feeling.”

Corriveau is the second on the squad with 138 digs, while junior April Oberhelman (Woonsocket) leads the team with 155 on the season.

The Anchorwomen have a 1-1 record in the Little East, earning their first LEC win against Eastern Connecticut (3-1) on Sept. 19 – a win that erased a nine-game losing streak against conference opposition. “It was nerve-racking,” Archer said of her first Little East contest. “We have four freshmen out on the court at all times and our seniors kept us focused telling us it is just another game.”

“Sharon has been here for four years and is an extremely hard worker,” Carvalho said about one of his captains. “She was disappointed in the 2008 season – until she saw the players that we brought in.”

With a talented core of newcomers and upperclassmen leadership, the program seems destined for a brighter-than-ever future.