Last Thursday, the Ramapo men’s volleyball team played their first match in the Skyline Tournament against the New Jersey City University (NJCU) Gothic Knights.
The Roadrunners took the win by a score of 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16). While the match stayed close during the sets, Ramapo managed to stay on top thanks to junior Andrew Finnegan and sophomore Reece Kirchofer.
Finnegan led the team with 18 kills and 11 digs, with Kirchofer not far behind with 14 kills and nine digs. NJCU’s top player, Mahmoud Serour, completed the game with only nine kills.
Halfway through the first set, it was obvious that the Roadrunners were going to come out on top, as their score almost doubled that of the Gothic Knights, thanks to kills from Finnegan and Kirchofer and with help from sophomore JoJo Meyer, who led the game with 45 assists.
“Going forward there is a lot that we can work on to continue to win games and shock a lot of people. The main thing I see that needs to be worked on would be communication on long [rallies]. This team has a lot of talent going forward, we just have to believe in each other.”
– JoJo Meyer
Although the Roadrunners trailed behind in the second set with NJCU seniors James Bajor and Brandon DaSilva delivering kill after kill, they came back in set three with four more kills from Finnegan and three from junior Jack DiGirolamo.
In the fourth set, Ramapo dominated by a score of 25-16, closing out the game on a great win and sending them off to the second round of the Skyline Tournament against St. Joseph’s University Long Island the following Saturday.
The Golden Eagles were the No. 1 seed in the tournament, and the Roadrunners put up a great fight. The match unfortunately ended with a Golden Eagles 3-2 win(25-23, 25-23, 20-25, 15-25, 10-25) after a close five sets.
During this match, Finnegan and Meyer each set new career records in kills and assists. Finnegan put up 26 kills and Meyer had a whopping 52 assists. Senior Sean Nieves tallied 11 kills, with Kirchofer adding 10 and Conor Charlow delivering six.
“[Their] serve receive was so good throughout the duration of the match,” Meyer said of his career day. “The better the serve receives, the easier [the] job becomes. It all starts with the pass.”
He credits the win against NJCU to “the atmosphere,” stating that it was “the biggest factor that led to our success that night.”
In regards to improvement, Meyer said that “going forward there is a lot that we can work on to continue to win games and shock a lot of people. The main thing I see that needs to be worked on would be communication on long [rallies]. This team has a lot of talent going forward, we just have to believe in each other.”
As a returning member of the team, Meyer has high hopes for the coming season. For graduating members like Finnegan and Charlow, although their last game did not end how they wanted it to, they did an incredible job. Charlow ended with a total of 233 career blocks and 91 aces.
Sophomore Chris Moren said he’s proud of his teammates and “has immense respect for their dedication to the team.”
Featured photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics