Volleyball drops two matches in a row to conference rivals Iona and Siena

Junior Brittany Hayes attempts to spike the ball against an Iona defender during Rider’s 3-2 loss last Saturday. She added six blocks for the Broncs in their defeat.By Rocco Schirripa

What started out as an eventful weekend at Rider for the women’s volleyball team turned into disappointment as the Broncs lost to Iona by a score of 3-2 and Siena 3-0.

Highlights for the Broncs in the Iona game included senior Lacey Brant getting her third double-double of the season with 21 digs and 12 kills. Fellow senior captain Lacey Johnson got her 24th career double-double with 19 kills and 17 digs.

The Broncs got six blocks each from juniors Alex Chapla and Brittany Hayes. Sophomore Amanda Piccolini and junior Amy Jeary added a combined 30 assists to aid Rider in the losses.

The Broncs took a quick 4-0 lead against the Gaels, but it didn’t last long as Iona tied the game. However, the Broncs prevailed in the end and took the first set.

The second set was dominated by Iona, as the team jumped out to a five-point lead and the Broncs could not catch up, tying the sets at 1-1.

Rider won the next set by two and took the lead in the fourth, keeping it until the very end of the set. However, Iona took the last two sets to win the match 3-2.

“To go to a five-set match with them and come out on the bottom was real upsetting,” Chapla said. “We just didn’t push ourselves hard enough to end up on top.”

The Broncs continued their conference schedule to take on Siena in the hopes of rebounding from the loss to Iona the day before.

One of the casualties of the game against Iona consisted of an ankle injury to Johnson, which left Rider short-handed against an aggressive Siena team.
Siena, looking for its

seventh straight win, went after Rider and took advantage of the Broncs’ weak points, sweeping all three sets.

Both teams started the first set tied at six before Siena broke it open to a five-point lead. Rider, much like the lost sets against Iona, could only cut the lead down to one or two and was unable to catch up to Siena.

Rider kicked it up a notch in the second set with nine ties and seven lead changes. The set was like a roller coaster ride with Rider leading by two. However, Siena capitalized on three kills and two Rider errors to win the set by three.

In the third set of the game, Rider initially took an early lead; but that didn’t last lon, as Siena jumped out to a 19-9 lead, scoring 16 of the 22 points of the drive.

“We didn’t play that bad, we just didn’t play with any real ‘umph’ to win, especially in the third set,” Chapla said. “Also, having our senior Lacey Johnson out with the ankle injury from Iona didn’t help us against Siena. We came together and moved some things around and we didn’t really struggle without her, but we really could have used her.”

As negative as the weekend was for the Broncs, Head Coach Emily Ahlquist had positive thoughts about the upcoming matches.

“This past weekend the volleyball team saw the emotional ups and downs of the game,” she said. “We played inspired volleyball during some points and took some points off; it was a hard weekend overall. We look forward to getting back into the gym and working out some kinks and inconsistencies and competing next weekend.”

The Broncs have lost four of their last five matches. They will play a conference match against Marist in hopes of bringing home a win.

“Hopefully this upcoming weekend against Marist and St. Peter’s we can get some wins,” Chapla said. “We need them to gain back some confidence, as well as help us out in the conference.”

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