Rowan Volleyball Clinches the top NJAC Playoff Spot in Their Win Over Ramapo

Rowan's Simone Sparano, Natalie Ogden and Brianna Newson before a serve earlier this month. Sparano would record her 1000th dig in her college career against Ramapo. Thursday, Oct. 15, 2021. - Staff Photographer / Joey Nicolo

Rowan volleyball came into their Tuesday matchup a perfect 7-0 in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play and 7-0 on the season at home. Their next opponent was the 6-12 Ramapo Roadrunners, who they defeated 3-0.

Prior to this matchup, Rowan had their 11-game winning streak broken when they split their matches at the Ursinus Tri-Match. While they did defeat the host Ursinus College, they did lose their first matchup to Dickinson University 3-1.

Entering the match against Ramapo, Rowan was trying to form another winning streak and avenge their lone loss in the month of October.

Another big story going into this match was that junior defensive specialist and libero Simone Sparano entered the match only a few digs shy of reaching the milestone of recording her 1000th dig.

The Profs got the match started and were all business as usual as they won the first set of the match 25-13. Junior Brianna Newson finished the set with four of her team’s 11 kills. Ramapo had six kills collectively as a team in the first set.

At the start of the second set, Rowan jumped out to a 3-0 lead on three straight kill points, two of which were by junior outside hitter, Courtney Rhoden.

The Profs began pulling away as they forced Ramapo to take their second timeout of the contest as they were trailing 18-10. During this stretch senior middle hitter Cassidy Abdalla served three consecutive aces.

“Obviously when anyone gets an ace it’s a huge deal,” Sparano said. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen our bench, but we do this crazy airplane cheer. We look forward to aces because we get to celebrate them so much. Volleyball is such a team sport but when serving it comes down to you, so getting back there and getting an ace helps your team.”

Rowan won the second set 25-16 and Sparano inched even closer to reaching her 1000th dig.

After an attack error by their opponent in the third set that would give Rowan 13-4 lead, it was finally the moment everyone had been waiting for. On a serve from Ramapo, Sparano bumped the ball in the air giving her 1,000 digs for her career at Rowan.

“It literally means the world to me,” Sparano said. “My team is my family and that was such an amazing thing. They cared so much to celebrate me, it was such an amazing feeling.”

Rowan finished the set winning 25-10, coming out of the match victorious in three straight sets, clinching them the top spot in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and the rights to home-court advantage.

The Prof’s next matches will be this Friday and Saturday road playing in the DeSales Quad tournament.

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