Broncs tie program record on senior day
By Tyler McLean
After a loss to Manhattan, 3-2, on Nov. 13, the volleyball team defeated Saint Peter’s, 3-0, on Nov. 16.
Freshman opposite hitter Morgan Romano successfully swept the season of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Rookie of the Week awards with her 12th consecutive honor on Nov 19.
The closest Romano came to not winning the honor were her two co-Rookie of the Week honors on Oct. 15 and Nov. 19.
Rider hosted Manhattan on Nov. 13 looking to tie a program record with 12 conference wins.
The Broncs had a slow start and dropped the first set, 25-19. Rider then stormed back to secure the second and third sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-20.
Rider and Manhattan battled back-and-forth in the fourth set and the Jaspers ultimately won it, 26-24.
Manhattan maintained its strong play from the fourth set in the final frame as the Jaspers clinched the upset over the Broncs with a set score of 15-8.
The Broncs looked again for their 12th conference win of the season when they hosted Saint Peter’s for Senior Day on Nov. 16. The Broncs obtained the win in convincing fashion with a sweep of the Peacocks.
The Broncs won with set scores of 25-15, 25-20 and 25-17. Rider improved to a 15-15 regular-season record and a 12-6 conference record.
Rider tied a program record with 12 MAAC wins in Head Coach Jeff Rotondo’s first year at the helm. Heading into the MAAC tournament, he is confident in his team’s abilities, but recognized the improvements that needed to be made before the start of the tournament.
“We need to find a way to be a little more consistent with our energy and that is something we continue to talk to them about. Come out on fire, stay there, and then shut it off after the game is over,” said Rotondo.
Senior outside hitter Alexa Shello recorded nine kills and two blocks on her senior day. Shello noted multiple things for the team to improve on before the MAAC tournament.
“We have some things we definitely know we need to work on,” Shello said. “Energy being one of them, we know when we are high energy and excited, we play better and we are super excited about MAAC play.”
Senior middle hitter Evelyn Shanefield and Shello combined for 21 kills and four blocks on the match.
With Shanefield’s two blocks on Nov. 16, she finished her regular-season career just three blocks away from having the fifth most in Rider history.
Senior libero Rachelle Runyon ended her last regular season game with nine digs against Saint Peter’s.
Runyon recorded a team high 543 digs on the season, which was 268 more than Romano, the team’s runner up. Runyon sat at fifth most digs in the program’s history.
Romano recorded 510 kills in her first season. She is the first Bronc to achieve this since 1993. No player in the MAAC has had 500 kills in a season since 2009.
Sophomore setter Anilee Sher recorded 44 assists, which gave her the third most assists in the program’s history. She ended her second season with a total of 1,091 assists.
Rider begins MAAC tournament play on Nov. 22 against sixth-seeded Quinnipiac in Fairfield, Connecticut, at 5 p.m.