Freshman duo of Modica and Horbacewicz have taken different paths to Rowan, but find themselves on the same court

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The Rowan volleyball team has been inconsistent lately, going on consecutive losing and winning streaks to begin the month of October. Included are a win and two losses against New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opponents.

The Profs are still fighting for a playoff spot as they are ranked sixth in the NJAC right behind Montclair State University and hope to make a better push towards the end of the season.

Despite the rough patches this season, the team has been fighting well and has shown that they can definitely play with strong performances from the underclassmen. Two of the biggest impact players for Rowan have been first year players Taylor Modica and Lauren Horbacewicz, who serve as outside and middle hitters.

For the duo, volleyball has always played a big role while growing up, helping them make it to the college level.

“My freshman year [of high school], my mom forced me to try it,” Horbacewicz said. “That was the first time I ever played. Ever since then, I have loved it.”

Horbacewicz is tied for the lead in blocks (46) with sophomore Kailey Gallagher. The newcomer makes a big impact at the net, helping lead opposing teams to total 60 more attack errors than Rowan.

For Modica, her story was a little bit different.

“I think I started in eighth grade,” Modica said. “I played softball at the time and it was kind of just like I wanted something different. My dad was like ‘you’re tall, why don’t you try basketball?’ and I was like absolutely not.”

Her father was her coach through volleyball as she grew up, along with playing alongside fellow freshman setter Tori Mock back in high school. The two are now sharing the court in Glassboro.

“It’s definitely made it easier having a familiar face around me and being able to talk about past experiences, and I think we’re both enjoying it a lot,” Modica said.

Modica is ranked second on the team with kills just behind sophomore captain Megan Jacobi. The freshman received NJAC Player of the Week honors last week for her abilities on the court.  

On the other hand, the transition was a little bit harder for Horbacewicz. In New Jersey high school volleyball, games are played in three sets compared to five that other states will play.

In college, matches consist of five sets instead of the three that she was accustomed to, so that was an adjustment Horbacewicz had to make.

“I only played best-of-three, so it’s definitely different going from three games to five games,” Horbacewicz said. “But, it hasn’t been bad. I love all of the girls.

The duo looks to keep making an impact on the team as they near playoff battle. Rowan supporters should have a lot to look forward to in the years to come if these two stick around and keep producing the way they have so far.

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