Women’s volleyball wins three in a row, now 2-0 in NJAC

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It’s said that “good things come in threes.” To name one of the best, how about a BLT? You get the gist. The Rowan women’s volleyball team secured a three-game winning streak on Tuesday night, adding their name to the list of threes.

Fresh off of two sweeps against Rutgers-Newark and Ursinus College, the Profs welcomed fans back to the Esbjornson Gym for a New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) showdown against Rutgers-Camden.

Prior to the conference matchup, head coach Deana Jespersen talked about what to expect from Rutgers-Camden.

“[Rutgers] Camden is a different team than [Rutgers] Newark,” Jespersen said. “Both teams, historically, we have had good matches against. They have both been battles. Based on what I know on [Rutgers] Camden, we are going to look at what their strengths are. We just need to protect ourselves defensively and just keep pushing ahead.”

Coming into the game, the Scarlet Raptors outmatched the Profs’ in kills, 434 to 381, in just one more total set. This proved to be a non-factor because it was the defense, as Jespersen hoped, that set Rowan and Rutgers-Camden apart on Tuesday.

The brown and gold out-dug the Scarlet Raptors 73-59, out-reached them 9-5 in blocks, and distributed better as well, comparing their 45 assists to Rutgers-Camden’s 35. It was an underclassmen display as sophomore setter Katelyn Paxson dished out 23 assists and sophomores Amy Staiber and Kailey Gallagher eclipsed 15 digs each. Second-year outside hitter Megan Jacobi tallied 11 kills with freshman outside hitter Taylor Modica tagging along with 10.

“It definitely sets a target on our back knowing we have to hold ourselves to that standard and that accountability,” said sophomore captain Gina Kisley. “Overall, I think it’s a sense of confidence that we have going in and playing our game the way that we want to.”

The key to this winning streak? Consistency.

“I think we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing,” Jespersen said. “Taking it one day at a time and focusing on making our weaknesses our strengths. Keep with the team chemistry and keep playing hard ball.”

The Profs have been able to find success early on in the season with their great management of tempo, having every defensive play almost always turn into an offensive opportunity. This shows in the stats being the fourth-best team in the NJAC in assists and top-three in digs.

“I think we just go in being as aggressive as we can,” Kisley said. “Being consistent and accurate, just playing our side of the net.”

With that win against Rutgers-Camden, Rowan is now 2-0 in the NJAC and are tied with Kean University in the in-conference standings. The brown and gold got off to a hot start with NJAC play last year as well, but ended up going 4-4 in the division. This season, they are out to take the title.

“Our main goal is to win the NJAC,” Kisley said. “So every week we play it week-by-week and continue to get better, and focus on getting to that championship match.”

The team awaits the Knights Invitational this upcoming weekend before heading back to NJAC play at Kean next Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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