By Cristiana Votta
After digging deep for a three-game winning streak, Rider’s volleyball team (9-8, 3-5 MAAC) is looking to continue along this pattern of success in this weekend’s games against Marist (6-12, 2-6 MAAC) and Siena (11-9, 5-3 MAAC).
Both games will provide a challenge, but the Broncs are looking for two wins, which would ensure a top four position in the MAAC.
“We are taking both games very seriously,” freshman Nicole Moorman said. “We are going to try and win both of them of course, and if we do win, we will be in fourth place. This is definitely a thought in the back of our minds going into this weekend. We look to take each game one at a time and be the best we can be.”
The Broncs are trying to keep a clear mindset even though they are facing a difficult team like Siena. Sophomore captain Jaclyn Webber hopes her team can battle for two wins.
“I think the Siena match will be an especially tough one for the team,” Webber said. “I’m nervous about coming off such a strong weekend. I don’t want us to become complacent because we are on a winning streak.”
Although these games pose huge opportunities, the Broncs know that their opponents are beatable just like any other team.
“Each team has their weaknesses,” sophomore Ashlee Amatulli said. “We are obviously going to try and capitalize on that. Capitalizing on their weaknesses while focusing on our strengths will help us end up on top.”
The Broncs have lost their last four games away from Alumni Gym, and changing that is a major goal for the team heading into the weekend.
“We are on the road and our road record isn’t as good as our home record,” Moorman said. “We are going to try and stay more focused and improve this aspect of our game. We need to be aware that when we travel, we need to stay together as a tighter unit.”
The Broncs are also looking to take advantage of learning opportunities in all aspects of their game, especially attitude, as they make their way to the top.
“We are working on ourselves this weekend,” Amatulli said. “We aren’t necessarily worrying about what’s on the other side of the net; we just have to focus on our game plan going in.”
Preparation for these two matches throughout the week created a good foundation for hopeful performances against Marist and Siena.
“I think we need to keep practicing hard- — it’s our main focus right now,” Moorman said. “When we are all well-engaged and focused, we play well as a unit. If everyone’s heads aren’t in the game, we don’t play that well.”
Head Coach Chris Feliciano has also put a lot of time into some of the areas the girls need to focus on in order to win.
“We’ve all been listening to our coach more,” Moorman said. “He’s put in a lot of work with scouting reports and game plans. We need to make sure we follow exactly what he’s telling us to do and continue to stay open-minded when listening to him.”
Webber also felt that following Feliciano’s orders would ensure success for the team.
“If we play to the level we are capable of and listen to coach, we will be fine this weekend,” she said.