By Logan VanDine
The Rider volleyball team headed to Connecticut and split two matches against Fairfield and Quinnipiac at Quinnipiac’s home gym on Sept. 18 and 19. After starting its season 0-7 Rider has now won three of its last four matches.
Rider dropped its first match against the Fairfield Stags on Sept. 18 losing all three sets. They were defeated 29-27 in the first set, 25-20 in the second set and to close out the match, the Stags took care of business sweeping the match and winning the third and final set, 25-22.
Junior Morgan Romano led the way for the Broncs in the game with 12 kills and 37 total attacks.
“She’s a good workload as far as the offense goes; she’s got a heavy arm and we rely on it. Morgan Romano is Morgan Romano, and she puts up those numbers knowing that the other team is trying to stop her. She’s going to get a double block, she is gonna have a lot of things going against her with the other teams trying to scheme her, but she does a really good job,” said Head Coach Jeff Rotondo.
It was not enough as the Broncs did not win a single set and were swept off the court.
“Coming out of the Fairfield match, one of the first things I said to the team after the loss was that I thought it was a really good match for us,” Rotondo said.
The way we played that match was exactly how we wanted them to play, the intensity, the effort, our focus; there was a lot of purpose and intent and a lot of things we were doing. There were two or three points we would’ve liked to have back on each set.”
Rontondo went on to say, “We need to find a way to win two more or three more points each set, and we have that in us, so I said we need to look at this match as a measuring stick as the things we need to get better at, but as long as we can bottle the intensity and the focus, were gonna find a way to win those points later on.”
Despite losing all three sets, Romano still thought that she and her team played well.
“Honestly, we didn’t play badly. Fairfield is a really good team, and we took it as a really good loss, so I don’t think we played badly at all,” Romano said.
The Broncs were able to find success the following day against Quinnipiac winning in four sets.
Romano led the team once again with 17 kills and 46 total attacks.
Rotondo was asked what changed after being swept the previous day.
“I think right now what we were looking at moving into this contest against Quinnipiac, we knew this was going to be a tough weekend, that we were gonna be on the road and have two really tough matches, and the only thing we asked the team was look if we can match yesterday’s intensity and focus, then we’re gonna find a way to win this match,” Rotondo said.
Romano also talked about what changed for her and her team to beat the Bobcats.
“We kinda played like we were up the whole time, and we played together, and we came out strong,” Romano said.
The Broncs also had a strong start agaisnt Iona in a 3-0 victory. With her second assist of the game, senior setter Anilee Sher recorded her 400th career assist and is now Rider’s all-time leader in assists. Sher finished the game with 32.
Romano again led the teeam with 18 kills.
The Broncs will take the court in their home opener on Sept. 25 against Saint Peter’s.