The men’s volleyball team’s season ended on Saturday as the No. 2 Roadrunners lost to No. 1 Kean University in the Skyline Conference Championship Game in straight sets (25-21, 25-23, 25-15).
Ramapo finished the 2015 season with an overall record of 19-17, while Kean improved to 31-4 overall and earned an automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA DIII Men’s Volleyball Championship for winning the Conference.
Despite not making the NCAA tournament, head coach Kevin Rodgers still said that this season was a success.
“I wanted the guys to get better every game,” said Rodgers. “I wanted them to be a much better team from our first game to our last game. Our first few games against ranked teams, we did not play well. Later on in the year, we competed against them and even beat some of them. So the ultimate goal was achieved.”
Rodgers said better defense could have yielded a better result for the Roadrunners in the Championship Game.
“We only had 18 digs. That’s six digs a set,” said Rodgers. “All season long, every game was either our defense was high and our offense was low, or our offense was high and our defense was low.”
While the Roadrunners had a hitting percentage of .203, Kean had a hitting percentage of .435.
“Props to Kean’s blocking,” said Rodgers. “I thought we hit the ball well, but they played outplayed us.”
Freshman Justin Fiegeles led the Roadrunners’ offense with 11 kills on the night.
Peter Desvousges was the lone senior on the team for the Roadrunners this season. The rest of the team is made up entirely of freshmen and sophomores.
“Next year, we won’t have the excuse of being young,” said Rodgers.
According the Rodgers, Kean recruited a good class for next season. However, the Cougars are losing five of their seven starters.
“They are going to have the same problem that we had last year,” said Rodgers. “They have a good recruiting class for next year, but they’re going to be young, so hopefully that will help us out.”
Rodgers already has high hopes for the 2016 season.
“We are going to have the same team as last year,” said Rodgers. “The freshmen on the team are used to this competition, and they’re going to improve a lot. We should be good next year.”