Roadrunners End Ospreys’ 49 Game NJAC Winning Streak

Photo by Nicole Williams

The Roadrunners women’s volleyball team snapped Richard Stockton’s 49 match winning streak against New Jersey Athletic Conference opponents on Tuesday. The game was Richard Stockton’s first loss in an NJAC conference matchup since Oct. 28, 2009, exactly five years to the day when they lost 3-1 to Montclair State University.

The Roadrunners stunned six time defending NJAC champion Richard Stockton in three sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-17) to improve their conference record to 6-2 and secure a fourth place finish in the NJAC.

“Well, we’re still going to keep our standing because we lost to Kean and Rowan and they are the two and the three seed,” said Ramapo’s 10th year head coach Robert Pichardo. “So, it’s a huge win for us. It means a lot, but we’re still going to stay in the same four seed for the playoff.”

The Ospreys came into Tuesday night 7-0 in NJAC play, looking for their fifth consecutive perfect NJAC season. Until Tuesday night, the Roadrunners had not won a set against Richard Stockton since Sept. 21, 2006.

This was the Roadrunners’ first win against Richard Stockton since Oct. 14, 1998 and their first under Pichardo’s tenure. Richard Stockton has won seven NJAC championships in eight years.

Postgame, junior captain Emily Harris said she believes the Roadrunners could beat any team they face the rest of the way.

“This means a lot because they are the number one team in the conference right now, so if we could beat them, we can beat anybody,” Harris said.

For the Roadrunners, freshman outside hitter Larysa Iwaskiw had a team high of 14 kills to go along with eight digs in the game. Sophomore libero Irmak Dagistanli led the team with 16 digs on the defensive end. She also tallied a couple of assists. Junior setter Kaitlin Mac Iver led the team in assists again with 30. She added an additional 12 defensive digs.

For the Ospreys, junior middle hitter Macy Schwartz recorded 14 kills, an assist and a dig. Senior defensive specialist Emily Grube led the Ospreys in digs with 15 to go along with three assists of her own. Junior setter Shannon Clark had a team leading 16 assists in addition to eight digs.

Richard Stockton dropped to 25-5 on the season and 7-1 in NJAC conference play while the Roadrunners improve to 24-8 on the season and 6-2 in the NJAC. The Roadrunners will want to continue to boost their confidence, as they prepare to host the fifth seeded Montclair State University in the opening round of the NJAC tournament on Tuesday.

Coach Pichardo thinks that the difference between being the number three seed and being the number four seed is huge, but he is confident his team can rise to the challenge.

“The reason is because the two will play the three seed, and the four have to play the number one seed [in the second round] which is Stockton again. So we have to see this team again in the playoffs,” Pichardo said. “The good news is that if we are able to go past our first and second round that’s straight to the playoff, out to the championship and we will going to be facing either the number two or the number three.”