Rowan volleyball faced off against Ramapo College on Thursday, Oct. 19, at Esby Gymnasium. Before the match started, the Profs acknowledged and celebrated Sydni Greenwood and Alexa Blue for the team’s Senior Night.
“It was really sad and exciting. I was sad to leave all my best friends, so that was really hard looking at everyone’s faces knowing that I was entering some of my last games ever,” Blue said. “To be able to celebrate what Sydni and I have brought to this team, what we’ve been able to do to the culture, and the legacy that we’re leaving behind”.
“I was hoping not to cry but hearing the coach’s thoughts about us and stuff that I didn’t know. It was just very heartfelt seeing everybody else react so emotionally,” Greenwood added. “Overall it just shows the love that we all have for each other.”
That love is reciprocated by head coach Deana Jespersen.
“I get really close to my players,” Jespersen said. “Both of them are going to be really hard for me to lose because I love them both as people, and they both have done a lot for me personally and as people for this program.”
Ramapo came into the match with an impressive 15-1 record this season, while Rowan’s record sat at 6-14. Throughout the first set, there was a back-and-forth pace as Rowan and Ramapo traded the lead constantly.
Rowan’s defense fought very hard against Ramapo’s strong offense. Ultimately, Ramapo won the first set by a score of 25-22, leading the match 1-0. But, the Profs have been in this situation many times before and wouldn’t go down easily.
In the second set, the Profs came out swinging by taking an early lead thanks to junior Brooke Adams’ aces at the beginning of the set. Adams would finish the match with 6 aces.
Ramapo’s offense, however, stormed back to take the second set by a score of 25-15, leading the match 2-0. This offensive surge carried into the third set, as Ramapo took complete control of the match after taking an early 10-2 lead.
Rowan started gaining a bit of momentum back as they would score points on strategically placed shots that the Roadrunners couldn’t reach. However, Ramapo’s offense would stay in control and win the third set by a score of 25-17, extending their winning streak to 6 games.
Although the team lost to a strong offense, Blue is choosing to focus on the positive.
“I was really proud of the energy of our team since we talk about it all the time, and how it’s never dipped,” Blue said.
Even though it was the team’s first glance at the new-look Ramapo squad, Coach Jespersen knew it was going to be a dogfight.
“They’re fast and they’re aggressive and I think it was going to be a battle to win, I knew that coming in,” Jespersen said. “Their record is very good and it’s essentially a new team from last year, they have a bunch of transfers.”
After the loss, the Profs know that there is still room for improvement.
“We keep trying to pay attention to details, defensively we’ve got to tighten some things back up again,” Jespersen said. “We’ll continue to work on our blocking, serve-receive, and offense. We’re a young team that still has a lot to learn, so we’ll just keep chipping away.”
The Profs got back in the win column Saturday, Oct. 21, when they defeated Lebanon Valley 3-1 in Pennsylvania. Rowan will look to build on this victory when they face New Jersey City University (NJCU) on Tuesday, Oct. 24, in Jersey City.