The Rowan volleyball team is looking on the bright side after two losses in the NYU October Showdown on Saturday, Oct. 14. In the tournament, the Profs faced New York University (NYU) who was 16-4 coming in, and Northwestern University who was 18-2 coming in. Both losses were taken in the form of three consecutive sets.
Despite the loss, the Profs were proud of how they played against two impressive teams.
“We played the No. 4 and No. 10 teams in the country, so we knew we had nothing to lose,” said junior Brooke Adams. “We wanted to use those games to make us better going into the rest of the season, and we definitely did that. We really stepped up and played into the competition we were playing against.”
Adams’ teammate, Kyra Hissner, was pleased that the Profs’ defense was able to adapt in those challenging games.
“I think our defense played really well because they’re really great hitters, definitely different than what we’ve been up against in the past,” Hissner said. “Our defense really helps us win games, and I think that was one of the biggest things that kept us in those matches.”
Head Coach Deana Jespersen recognized the level of competitiveness that NYU and Northwestern play at, and commends her team for staying strong.
“Obviously, they’re both really good teams. Especially against NYU, we were able to pass well and play really good defense,” Jespersen said.
Adams, who finished Saturday’s doubleheader with six aces, six digs, and 49 assists, believes the team’s performance in the matches have boosted their confidence.
“I think it helped our confidence a bit, especially going into the rest of the season,” Adams said. “We have a lot to do to pick up some losses that we’ve had and make it to that championship game. So it definitely helped our confidence, because now we’ve seen what we’re capable of while competing against good teams. Now we just have to learn how to play that well against every team, even if it’s not the No. 10 team in the country.”
Hissner, who finished Saturday’s matches with ten kills, is looking for Rowan to get on the right track with the rest of the season ahead.
“This past weekend helped us all gain confidence and trust in each other,” Hissner said. “We’re playing really hard competition teams coming up within the next two weeks, and it’s going to be crucial to do well in those matches and going into the playoffs.”
Coach Jespersen’s biggest takeaway from the New York trip was how her team was able to deal with mistakes.
“We’re young and we’re still trying to figure some things out. We’re still making mistakes here and there. Any team makes mistakes, but we haven’t figured out how to be consistent and to be confident when you’re making mistakes,” Jespersen said. “However, on Saturday, they were confident regardless of mistakes, which was really cool. I think that played into our match last night against Dickinson.”
The Profs improved their record to 6-14 after their 3-1 victory over Dickinson on Tuesday, Oct. 17 thanks to an offensive explosion by Hissner, Sydni Greenwood, and Jena Kaul, who combined for 38 kills.
Rowan will look to keep the momentum rolling when they face off against the Ramapo Roadrunners on Thursday, Oct. 19 for Senior Night.