Broncs unable to play catch-up in MAAC losses

Junior Brittany Hayes spiked the ball over the net in Rider’s 3-1 loss to Loyola over the weekend.By Rocco Schirripa

This past weekend, which was supposed to be a promising one for the volleyball team, turned into a disappointment as the Broncs lost games against Loyola and Marist, both by the score of 3-1.

On Saturday, Rider geared up to play the Loyola Greyhounds. Although the Broncs won the first set 25-22, the game ended with heartbreak as the Greyhounds took the final three sets and shut down the Broncs’ momentum with the scores of 26-24, 25-21, and 25-23.

“We had a lot of close set scores,” Head Coach Emily Ahlquist said to Rider Sports Information. “We should have won set two, but we mentally let our guard down. We let a few errors get us down and we weren’t able to recover.”

In the Broncs’ loss, senior Lacey Johnson had a double-double of 11 kills and 16 digs. Sophomore Katelyn Thompson had 10 kills while fellow sophomore Amanda Piccolini had 20 assists. Junior Amy Jeary also had 19 digs.

The Broncs later took on the Marist Red Foxes in the hopes of rebounding from the loss the day before.

Rider jumped out to another 25-22 win in the first set, but was unable to hold onto it as Marist stole the last three sets with scores of 26-24, 25-18 and 25-22.

Highlights for the Broncs include the senior tandem of Johnson and Lindsay Brant, who both had double doubles. Johnson claimed 15 kills and 14 digs while Brant had 18 digs and 12 kills. Another noteworthy senior was Meghan Johnston, who had a career-high four digs.

Piccolini had 49 assists and seven digs while junior Alex Chapla had 16 kills. Jeary also had a team-high 33 digs for the Broncs.

“The team competed very hard this past weekend, especially with Sunday being Senior Day and all of the emotions that were present,” Ahlquist said.

The Broncs wrap up the regular season this weekend at Iona on Saturday and at home against Loyola on Sunday.

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