Volleyball takes first conference loss, now 3-12 overall

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Inconsistent play has brought the Rowan women’s volleyball team to a 3-12 overall record and a 2-1 record in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. The Profs latest loss came when the took on conference rival Kean University on Sept. 27.

The biggest challenge for the team has been their inability to finish the games that they should win. Of their last twelve sets played, Rowan has lost by four points or less in three of them.

Coach Deana Jespersen feels like she knows what is going on with the team and the adjustments that need to be made.

“It’s consistency. We just have to figure out how to be consistent. We play hard, we played so hard,” Jespersen said. “The team does difficult things really well, but fail to do the easy things just as well.”

An aspect of the game that Rowan has done consistently is their lack of blocking errors. Freshman outside hitter Kailey Gallagher led the Profs with five blocks, while sophomores Erin Keegan and Jamie Shirtz had four blocks each against Kean.

The one thing that keeps popping up in conversation between Jerpersen and her team, though, is that they are “right there.” They are in these games but just are not capitalizing and coming out with wins.

After the loss to Kean, it was clear that Rowan had missed some opportunities to take full control of the game.

“It’s the critical things like getting those hits and our passes down and crisp that we need to keep doing,” freshman outside hitter Megan Jacobi said. “Also making sure we get our serves in-bounds during important times. We lost a few make-or-break points that determined the set.”

Fortunately, Rowan has a week off to practice as they get ready for another NJAC match-up against Montclair State University next week. The team recognizes that they have much to work on, as more conference opponents and the Knights’ Fall Classic tournament in Aston, P.A. wait around the corner.

“It’s the little things that have to be worked on and improved,” Keegan said. “We know what we are capable of, and it’s the matter of stringing those things together and bringing it all onto the court every time we go out.”

Next week presents a big challenge to the Profs, with the chance to go 3-1 in conference play and also hopefully fuel the team to a winning streak that they desperately need.

“I think people underestimate us, and see us as the underdog,” Keegan said. “ It’s an advantage to us, because we can come onto the court and just play our game. We know what we are capable of, and if we can come out and put those pieces together, we can be the top dog.”

“We are literally right there,” Jacobi said. “We are so close. It’s just a matter of cleaning up the mistakes and coming out ready to win.”

Rowan looks to right the shaky ship that they are sailing on and finish next week on a very positive, more consistent note. They return to action at Montclair State on Oct. 4.

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