By Lauren Amour
This past weekend the volleyball team was at home, playing against the Siena Saints on Sept. 29 and against the Marist Red Foxes on Sept. 30. Rider cruised past Siena, sweeping them 3-0, but then suffered the 3-0 sweep themselves against Marist.
In Saturday’s game, the Broncs dominated Siena in the first set, leading 16-5 halfway through and winning the first set by a score of 25-10.
The Broncs started off shaky entering the second set, with Siena leading 4-1 until a Rider timeout about two minutes in. Luckily, the team picked up the pace and gained the lead by a score of 10-9.
A struggling Siena then called a timeout after trailing Rider by a score of 12-9. Rider went on to win the second set of 25-17, and the third set 25-14.
Overall, the Broncs dominated the now 1-14 Saints, who remain winless in the conference, and the team combined for 38 kills and hit .307 for the game, which is the second time in the last three matches that the team has hit .300 or better.
Senior hitter Savannah Logan led the team with nine kills of her own and 11 points. Along with Logan, senior hitter Hailey Riede and sophomore hitter Meredith Pellegrino combined for 12 kills.
On defense, junior blocker Evelyn Shanefield assisted on five blocks, while fellow junior libero Rachelle Runyon had 19 digs.
“They did really well today; we kept everything calm, cool and collected,” Shanefield said. “We knew what we had to do, and we took care of business, but there’s always that extra step that we can take.”
Meanwhile, freshman setter Delaney St. Pierre continued to impress by reaching a career high with 28 assists and two aces.
St. Pierre agreed with Shanefield about the team’s performance against Siena on Sept. 30.
“I think we did pretty well today too, but there’s still a lot of wrinkles to get out, and I think we have a long way to go,” she said. “I think today was a step up in reaching our full potential.”
When asked what he believed his team did well in the game, Head Coach Christopher Feliciano praised his assistant coaches for the job they did preparing the team for the match.
“[The team] had a really good week of practice in preparing for these matches and it showed in how they operated,” Feliciano said. “We got down a little bit, but they found ways to make corrections.”
In addition, Riede reached a milestone of her own by passing Stefanie Lombardo for sixth place on Rider’s all-time kills list with 1,092.
The game was also the eighth time this season that the Broncs had at least 10 block assists in a match.
Reaching these heights could be due in part to having a home court advantage. Shanefield and St. Pierre agreed that being at home motivates the team and has a positive impact on the team’s play.
“I think any team is going to play better at home [where] they are comfortable,” Feliciano said. “This is their home, this is where they practice every day.”
Shanefield added, “I think it definitely makes a difference. We have the comfort of being in our own rooms and in our own beds but, also, we are super familiar with the gym and the lines. We know the crowd and, because we are home, we want to protect the court. We do not want anyone else to win here.”
Up next for the Broncs, who now hold a record of 7-6, 3-3 MAAC, is an away game in New York against the Iona Gaels on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.
The next home match for the Broncs will be Oct. 6 against St. Peter’s at 1 p.m.