Women’s volleyball season comes to a close at NCAA tournament

The 13-game win streak and historic season of the women’s volleyball team came to an end during the first game of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Baltimore Regional Tournament. Ramapo traveled to Johns Hopkins University on Nov. 16 to face off against Christopher Newport University (CNU) and were sent home after losing 3-1.

Going in, CNU had a record of 21-12 overall and 3-0 in the Coast to Coast Athletic Conference, while Ramapo stood 25-1 overall and 7-1 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Both teams showcased the skills they had nurtured all season, but ultimately CNU prevailed, as seen in the concluding statistics.

Ramapo collected 53 points, surpassed by CNU’s 81. The Roadrunners committed 10 fewer kills than the Captains, 43 to 53. Although CNU triumphed with a hitting percentage of .220, Ramapo earned a respectable .156.

Despite the loss, two Roadrunners’ performances were noteworthy. Freshman outside hitter Maliyah LaBrie contributed 12 kills, and sophomore setter Cleopatra Diakou amassed 29 assists.

The first set was the longest one the Roadrunners had participated in all season. Ramapo opened strong with two kills from LaBrie sandwiched around an attack error from CNU’s Megan James. After a service error from Ramapo’s Diakou, however, the teams were never more than two points apart.

Ramapo scored 25 points first thanks to an attack error from CNU’s Macy Burk, but the match continued as CNU was at 24. The last third of the set was an agonizing crawl to the finish as each team struggled to get ahead of the other. Finally, two errors from CNU gave Ramapo the advantage, and a kill from senior outside hitter Kalme Moncavo won the set 33-31.

The Roadrunners were in a daze at the start of the second set. A streak of good luck put CNU in the lead at 11-5 before Ramapo woke up and fought back. A kill from senior opposite Penelope Rivera and an attack error from James almost closed the gap, but a kill by James and two errors from senior middle blocker Desiree Cruz and Rivera handed the match to the Captains, 25-20.

The third set was a bloodbath. The opening kill by CNU’s Kyla McIntyre was an ill omen for Ramapo. The Roadrunners earned only six kills and collected as many errors while CNU triumphed with 11 and three respectively. Ramapo’s hitting percentage for the set was a season low of 0.0. A kill from CNU’s Samantha Dorn and an attack error from Ramapo junior opposite Riley Stewart put the Roadrunners out of their misery, 25-14.

The Captains were out of sync in the beginning of the fourth set. They committed five consecutive attack errors, putting the Roadrunners ahead 8-1. Despite being given this early advantage, the Roadrunners’ fatigue made them unable to pull through. Once CNU caught up, Ramapo fought to remain neck-in-neck, but in the end two service aces from CNU’s Sammy Carroll closed the match 25-23.

Three seniors are saying goodbye to their last season at Ramapo, and their standout records deserve a final recognition. Rivera was credited with 150.5 points this season, and since 2020 she earned a total of 100 blocks and 352 kills, 128 of which were committed in 2023. Moncavo walks away with 227 kills, 313 points and 215 digs all collected during the 2023, contributing to 313.0 points. These Roadrunners will be missed, but with luck the team will be able to outdo themselves going forward and set a new record next season. Finally, highlights for Cruz include 310.5 points, 227 kills and the fourth highest number of blocks in a single season in program history — 92. These impressive stats earned her a spot on the 2023 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America Honorable Mention Team. Congratulations!




Featured photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics