The men’s volleyball team split a double-header on Sunday, beating Yeshiva University in three sets, and then losing to Kean University in four.
The victory against Yeshiva snapped a five-game losing streak. During that streak, Ramapo had lost 15 of their last 16 sets.
“If we play well, we have the potential to beat a lot of teams,” said head coach Kevin Rodgers.
Sophomore Ryan Casci played for the first time after recovering from a concussion.
“As with any injury you always want to get back on the court as soon as possible. When I was finally cleared to play I couldn’t have been more excited,” said Casci. “Having to sit on the bench and not being able to help your team is an incredibly frustrating experience. I had to shake off the rust pretty quickly since I came back only two days before this double-header.”
After making 14 errors against Kean, he did not record any against Yeshiva and had a .714 hitting percentage in the second match of the day.
“The past is past, there’s no changing that. To stay positive after a tough loss is never easy. When that happens you just have to turn to your teammates and talk to them about things both I can improve on and us as a team can improve on,” Casci said. “We’re a team and we can’t afford even one teammate to lose optimism.”
Rodgers said his young team is not used to facing top teams like Kean.
“A lot of the freshmen and sophomores haven’t seen the level of competition that I want them to be at,” said Rodgers. “We have a tough schedule, but I think they’ve all been good learning experiences for us.”
The Roadrunners had lost 12 sets in a row until they took the first set against Kean 25-23.
“Since that was our first conference game, our guys came out hyped up; they had a lot of emotion,” said Rodgers.
Ramapo led for the majority of the first two sets, but momentum slid Kean’s way late in the second set as the Cougars pushed to win the next three sets.
Rodgers said his team lost the emotion from the first set and a half.
“That’s what’s been our downfall; we’re kind of just going through the motions rather than playing with consistent emotion,” said Rodgers. “Hopefully having that feeling of winning that first set will get the guys to understand we need to be playing like that the entire time.”
After the loss, the Roadrunners did not have much time to reflect; instead, they only had about a half hour to get ready for Yeshiva.
“Ryan [Casci] was a little rusty, our sets were a little off. We need to try and learn from those things,” said Rodgers. “What we usually do is we usually look down on ourselves. We need to just keep helping each other out and keep being a team.”
However, they seemed ready for Yeshiva right away, taking the first set 25-12, setting momentum for the remainder of the match. The Roadrunners won the match in straight sets, 25-12, 25-21, 25-10.
“Momentum can make or break a match, plain and simple. When it comes to conference play you just can’t afford to lose something so vital,” said Casci. “Winning in the conference is crucial when playoffs come around, you don’t want a tough schedule when you’re trying to make it to the conference finals and inevitably NCAAs.”
After Sunday’s action, the Roadrunners are 1-1 in the Skyline Conference and 4-7 overall this season.