Roadrunners Beat NJCU in Skyline Conference

The men’s volleyball team advanced to 6-1 in the Skyline Conference play Tuesday night after defeating the New Jersey City University Gothic Knights, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-16). The game seemed to be a repeat shutout for Ramapo from the last time these teams met earlier in the season on Feb. 16.

The night started out well for the Roadrunners, who combined for a hitting average of .438 on the night while tallying 48 kills on 89 attempts. There was support from the fans and fellow athletes, as well as their own team, which really kept the Roadrunners in the game.

The score was tied 16 times, and there were only six lead changes. Ramapo would come out with a victory in three sets, even though NJCU came out strong and it seemed like they were not going to let up.

Head coach Kevin Rodgers felt his team played well throughout the game, and admitted his team played down at times, but did come back strong in the end.

“Overall, when we needed to step up, we did,” said Rodgers.

Freshman Ahjon Petty helped his team win with a .500 hitting average along with 14 kills. Senior Andrew Balint aided in the victory with 42 assists, a team high. Freshman Kurt MacDonald had seven digs, while also recording a perfect passing percentage.

Freshman Sheldon Coure, Skyline Rookie of the Week, had 12 kills on 16 attempts and only had one error for NJCU.

Rodgers played volleyball for NJCU from 2006-2009 and found bliss in the conference win.

“It felt good, because I know some of the players and the coach,” said Rodgers. “It’s just nice to win against your alma mater.”

The Roadrunners have a decent record at 12-4 overall, and seem to be improving tremendously throughout their season. According to Rodgers, his team needs to get over the hump of coming out victorious against a team who is “better than them.” Once they accomplish this and continue a high level of play, Ramapo has a good chance of hosting the Skyline Conference tournament.

The loss on March 2 to their biggest rival, Kean University, took a toll on the Roadrunners, pushing them into second place in the Skyline Conference.

“It was a tough loss,” said Rodgers.

The Roadrunners must forget that devastating loss and use this big win against NJCU to propel them through a very busy and taunting schedule.

Ramapo has two very important weekends and spring break ahead of them. This weekend, Ramapo will head to Massachusetts for the Endicott tournament. They will then have a week off from games before heading to the 2014 Carthage Tournament in Wisconsin. The Roadrunners will then play in Illinois during the spring break vacation time.

The NJCU win is the last game they will have before the out-of-state tournaments.

Ramapo’s next home game will be against Stevens Institute of Technology on March 26, followed by their next conference game against Mount Saint Vincent the next day.