The Roadrunners clinched an NJAC Playoff Tournament berth as they continued their recent tear when they faced Montclair in an NJAC match on Tuesday in the Bradley Center. The Roadrunners secured a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-19) match win against the Red Hawks. Thus, they were able to extend its recent winning streak to 15 straight wins overall, including five straight NJAC wins.
Senior defensive specialist Natalia Saavedra said that the first set is typically the table setter for a volleyball match.
“Your first set lays the groundwork for the rest of the game,” said Saavedra. “After we win our first game, it just brings us forward into the second and third, and as long as we keep that momentum up, it usually brings us forward to the win.”
Junior outside hitter Larysa Iwaskiw was a key player once again with 24 kills, which was a match high, 10 digs, a service ace and a block. One of Iwaskiw’s kills was the game-winner in the table-setting first set, and her statline in the match is proof that Iwaskiw can do everything on a volleyball court.
Rookie outside hitter/defensive specialist Karina Almeda was another key player in this one as she delivered nine huge kills, including the game-winner in the second set that capped off a late comeback from a 22-19 deficit.
Senior middle blocker Emily Guzman recorded four kills and seven blocks on the night while fellow senior Rachel Selmore, an outside hitter, had two kills, including the match-sealing 25th point in the third set, and 14 assists. Second-year libero/defensive specialist Kristen Behrens led the Roadrunners defensively with 13 digs, and she had two assists as well.
Rookie setter Kate Shirkey led the way in the assist department with 18 assists, while third-year defensive specialist and libero Sarah Mulligan tallied nine digs and two assists. With the victory, the Roadrunners now stand at an outstanding 19-3 record overall and are 5-0 in conference play.
When asked about the play where Selmore delivered the match-ending kill, Behrens said that she trusts her in clutch situations since she believes that Selmore normally delivers the goods.
“I trust Rachel whenever she goes up to score even though she’s a setter,” said Behrens. “When she usually goes up, she usually will get the kill.”
Iwaskiw said that Almeda’s second set-winning kill was a major turning point in the match.“It was a huge point; it was a huge momentum booster,” said Iwaskiw. “We were banking on her getting that kill, and she always comes up strong, and that just kept us in the third set, kept us going, and kept us wanting to play hard in the third set.”
The Roadrunners have another NJAC match coming up tonight against Rutgers-Newark on the road at 7 p.m.