The Ramapo College women’s volleyball team fell to 9-9 (2-3 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference) Tuesday night after losing to Montclair State University in three sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-20).
The Roadrunners came out sluggish during the first set, but rallied back towards the end before dropping the opening set, 25-20.
“In the first set of the Montclair match, the girls did an excellent job bringing momentum into the second set,” assistant coach Tiffany Fischer said. “That is what really made us [coaching staff] proud today.”
The match kicked into high gear in the second set, which featured eight ties and five lead changes before it ended.
Ramapo’s defense stepped up in the second set, led by the play of defensive specialist Emily Harris and outside hitter Catherine Kilduff, who combined for 26 digs.
“Emily is awesome to work with,” Fischer said. “She is always asking questions and wanting to learn and get better. It’s every coach’s dream to have players like that.” Offensively, the Roadrunners made the most of their scoring opportunities. Outside hitters Brittany Jemas and Cathryn Smart posted 23 total kills and setter Kaitlin Mac Iver tallied a team-leading 28 assists to help Ramapo stay competitive against a height-advantaged Montclair State University squad.
Montclair improved to 20-8 on the season while reaching the .500 plateau in conference play at 3-3. Defense also served as a crucial component to the Redhawk’s victory, led by libero Kaitlyn Irwin’s 21 digs.
MSU’s offense proved to be the difference though, as their execution late in each set, especially in the second set, ultimately won them the match.
The Redhawks were led by outside hitters Sara Girgus and Marta Topor, who combined for 22 kills. Setter Angela Campo posted a match-high 38 assists.
The Roadrunners will have an opportunity to right the ship on Thursday when they face NJAC rival Rugters-Camden. Fischer thinks the return of a key contributor will help Ramapo finish the season strong.
“Going into the Rutgers Camden game we need to work on passing,” Fischer said. “We also have our middle Sarah Pendleton coming back from a fractured heel. She just got cleared tonight. All the girls are excited for her to come back. She is going to be a big help in what we are lacking, which is height.”