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RHODY HEADS BACK TO NATIONALS
April 18, 2018
In just its fifth year as a TOC program, URI will be making its second consecutive trip to Nationals as New England’s Club of the Year. Last year, the Rams finished 55th at Nationals in their first ever appearance.
“Our experience at Nationals last year was definitely one that our team will never forget. We did not really know what to expect, but I think it far exceeded anything any of us had imagined,” said Captain Shannon Kolasinski. “Nationals definitely brought our team closer together and inspired to us to work even harder. As a team, we are always looking to improve, and this year, we are hoping to place even higher at Nationals.”
Wilfredo (Willy) Tangui started the TOC program five years ago, and without his constant leadership and mentoring, Kolasinski says many of the players wouldn’t be where they are today.
“Willy has always been a leader on our team. He is one of the most passionate and hardworking individuals I know, and his ambition and drive rubs off on everyone around him,” Kolasinski said. “He has always pushed our team to work harder and dream bigger. Nothing is ever impossible in his eyes. Over the years, he has helped to groom many players and leaders, and I am just one example.”
URI is involved with many charitable efforts off the court, and none bigger than the annual fundraiser for the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund. Tangui had open heart surgery as a child and the organization has been a huge part of his life ever since.
For the past two years, the team has held a pie-in-the-face fundraiser on campus to raise money for the fund.
“It is important to remember to take a step back, off the court, and look around. Our local communities, and the organizations within them, have helped to make all of us who we are today, and if we have the ability to give back, we should try our best to do so, Kolasinski said”
She added, “Last year, we all thought that going to Nationals was a once in a lifetime experience. When we heard that we got the award again, none of us could believe it. This award truly is an honor, and it is amazing to see how far our team has come in just 5 short years.”