Men’s Volleyball Has High Hopes for 2014 Regular Season

The men’s volleyball team is not only looking for a Skyline Conference Championship, but they hope to become a nationally ranked team as well.

This team has big dreams and is reminded of them every time they step foot in the locker room. Their goals hang with pride and are a reminder to make sure every member knows what they are working toward.

As the players enter and exit the locker room, their goals glare back at them to instill motivation to not only beat the best, but also to be the best men’s volleyball team in the conference, which is easier said than done. A competitive Skyline Conference will be a challenge for the Roadrunners, especially when they meet their rival Kean in March and again in April.

Starting off with a .500 record (2-2) is something the men’s volleyball team should not be ashamed of, considering their first two losses were against nationally ranked teams: No. 11 Stevenson and No. 4 New Paltz. However, head coach Kevin Rodgers said there is plenty of room for improvement.

“Since there is a lot of room to get better, it doesn’t worry me. When we plateau, that’s when it becomes difficult,” said Rogers.

The team has many goals to achieve throughout the season, including becoming regular season champions, becoming nationally ranked, earning Skyline Conference Championship and to make it far in the NCAA Tournament. Most would say this hefty list is impossible, but Rodgers said that his team is capable.

But before Ramapo can think about a championship, they must first start their conference play. Their conference opener is away at The Sage Colleges, who beat Ramapo twice in the regular season and again in the Skyline Tournament last year.

“Sage lost some key players this year, so we just have to concentrate on their two attackers,” added Rodgers.

Ramapo has a long road ahead that will surely prepare them for their first conference game. Rodgers stacked up the schedule with some nationally ranked teams and others who are in reach of a national ranking for the sole purpose of readying his team for conference games scattered throughout the season.

Even with the first conference game coming up Feb. 10, Rodgers insisted Kean would be the toughest competition for Ramapo.

“Many of the kids on both teams have known each other for a while, so it’s always a rival. Ramapo and Kean are both New Jersey schools, which makes the rival even stronger,” said Rodgers.

Playing Kean will always be an in-state battle for Ramapo, and splitting the season series last year will add fuel to Ramapo’s fire when they meet this season.