Following a strong week with two big wins, the volleyball team had momentum on their side. Then at the Neumann University Tri-Match on Saturday, everything fell apart.
In the first match of the day against Neumann, the Profs went up 2-1, and weren’t able to finish off Neumann, who came back to win in five sets. In the second match of the day against Lebanon Valley, the Profs quickly went down 2-0, fought back to force a fifth game, and weren’t able to finish it off.
Being so close both times but unable to finish, head coach Deana Jespersen spoke about her team’s ability to close out games.
“We’re struggling with finishing, we know that, it’s something we’ve been very open and consistent about, it’s that we get into a situation where we don’t sprint, you know we talk about sprinting to pull out and finish games,” Jespersen said. “It feels like we need that additional pressure in order to do that sprint, versus having that internal pressure to do that sprint ourselves. That’s something that we talk about a lot. I was glad to see against William Patterson and Ramapo that we didn’t wait for the pressure, unfortunately this weekend we slipped back into bad habits where we started to get frustrated and started to lose some of that fierceness.”
Co-captain Kailey Gallagher offered a more positive outlook of the team’s inability to finish.
“We did lose the first two games [of the second match], which also shows that we can come back from anything and that we just didn’t give up,” Gallagher said. “We look at the positives of it, we didn’t let up and just say, ‘Oh the game’s over, whatever.’ We persevered, and we weren’t able to finish, but I think it shows a lot that we just didn’t give up.”
After these two losses and the team’s victory over Montclair State, the Profs are up to 10-9 overall and 3-1 in their conference, continuing their hover around .500 like they have done all season.
“I think we’re better than a .500 team, but we haven’t figured out how to be better than a .500 team if that makes sense. I think we have growing pains in terms of us having a ton of talent on the team but being really young, in terms of the program and as a team,” Jespersen said. “There’s some rotations we have that are heavy freshmen and sophomores and other’s where we’re heavy junior and senior. We’ve had some big wins and we’ve had some losses where I’m like, ‘Huh, I don’t really know how we lost that game.’ That’s something the team has to figure out, having that confidence and some of that swag they know they can get it done.”
Kailey Gallagher offers the same thought as her coach.
“I think we’re very young, and once we start clicking more together we’ll be fine,” Gallagher said. “Most of the games we do lose, we’re not losing 0-3, we’re losing in five games. We’re not playing bad ball at all, it’s just unfortunate circumstances. I think once we get it to mesh together, which will take time because we have a lot of freshmen on the court, I think it’s gonna finally work out.”
The Profs continue their season on October 8 at Kean University, looking to improve off their last win and continue building their record.
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