Rowan volleyball has been heating up as the tense part of the season approaches, with some very important conference games in the coming weeks.
Rowan is 5-2 in their last six games, and are off to a hot 2-1 start in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play with wins against two tough Rutgers-Camden and Rutgers-Newark opponents.
“Both of those teams we were competitive with,” said head coach Deana Jespersen. “So we are about to hit the harder part of our road. Our journey now with Kean, Stockton, Montclair and Ramapo…they’re all going to be a little more challenging.”
The challenge so far has seemed to be away games. Rowan is 5-1 at home, but struggles on the road and neutral locations have brought them a 3-5 record.
Unfortunately, the brown and gold were unable to come out with a win against Kean University this past Tuesday. What looked to be a hot start with a tough, 25-23 first-set victory, came three straight set losses. The second set had the Cougars winning another close one 25-23, and the third and fourth outscoring Rowan 50-30. Kean outplayed the Profs in every category besides digs, where they compared 62 digs to 60.
Despite the loss, a big part of Rowan volleyball is the youth that shows in the depth chart. A slew of underclassmen line the stat sheet who appear to be holding their own against the big dogs. One underclassmen showcasing her skills is freshman outside hitter Taylor Modica.
“We still have to be relaxed because it’s like every other game” Modica said. “We have to go into it with the mindset that we go into any other games.”
Modica has been able to post herself atop the Rowan top hitters. Last week against Rutgers-Camden, she recorded 10 kills as well as six digs, which tied her season-high in the defensive category.
The brown and gold have certainly been able to defy odds, going on three win streaks, two of three games and one of a pair. Last season’s team was only able to capture one winning streak the whole year that comprised of a string of three games. This year’s team seems to be finding their stride amidst being “young.”
“I think because we’re a very young team it was hard for the freshman who were playing to play college ball compared to high school ball,” said senior captain Gina Kisley. “Once they understood the speed of the game, we were able to win more games because it’s a completely different game that we play.”
Rowan continues play on the road with an NJAC matchup against Stockton University on Thursday at 6 p.m.
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