Over the weekend, the Rowan volleyball team faced off against the Elizabethtown College Blue Jays and Lebanon Valley College Flying Dutchman before taking on their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival New Jersey City University (NJCU) on Tuesday.
After dropping the first match to Elizabethtown 3-0, the Profs bounced back nicely with a 3-1 win over Lebanon. The most important thing for the Profs was their ability to quickly move on and stay positive against the Flying Dutchman.
“I think we started off a little slow in the first game,” Junior Brooke Adams said. “However, once we got our groove, we figured it out, and we finally clicked in a way that we hadn’t clicked yet before in the game against Lebanon Valley.”
“Once the match is done, there’s nothing you can do about it,” Junior Maya Iovacchini added, who had 20 kills, eight aces, and seven blocks during Saturday’s matches. “I think we all had a goldfish mind about it and just move on to the next match.”
Part of moving on from a tough loss is quickly making adjustments to the defensive strategies, which is what the Profs did.
“During the second match, we were more tactically sound and focusing on the basics with our defense,” Sophomore Jena Kaul said, who had 22 kills, one ace, and 24 digs on Saturday. “Once our defense is good, our connection with Brooke [Adams] will be better and then therefore carrying it into our offense.”
In addition to the defensive adjustments, the Profs stepped up their team chemistry heading into the match against Lebanon Valley in order to change the group’s dynamic.
“We had a wake-up call from the first match. I think collectively, we decided we’re not going to play that way again,” Kaul said. “Then we translated that into the second game and played Rowan volleyball.”
Rowan’s victory against NJCU was especially memorable for Adams as she recorded her 3,000th career assist. Adams finished that match with 35 assists and four aces in the victory, bringing her total career assists to 3,031, good for third all-time in the Profs’ record books.
“Anytime anyone hits a milestone, it’s a big deal for the program and it’s a big deal for them,” Head Coach Deana Jespersen said. “To see her transformation from freshman year to now as she’s become a leader, and learning how her role impacts others has been a joy to watch.”
Now that Adams has surpassed 3,000 assists, she has her sights set on the Rowan all-time record for assists, which is held by Joelle McNulty with 3,424.
“Now I’m going for the record, and hopefully soon,” Adams said. “It’s really exciting having everyone be so supportive on this team. It’s great to achieve big accomplishments like that around these girls because they’re all so amazing and supportive.”
Coach Jespersen is especially proud of how far Adams has come and is looking to see how she’ll play in her senior year.
“She wasn’t in a leadership role her freshman or sophomore year,” Jespersen said. “She was learning a lot from older girls during those years, as to how to lead. I think this year has been the biggest adjustment for her as she knows that she’s in a position with younger hitters and she has to take on more responsibility for what happens on the court.”
The Profs will look to keep the positive momentum going when they play a doubleheader in Central Valley, Pennsylvania against Baruch College and DeSales University on Saturday, Oct. 28.