Women’s volleyball suffers season-ending loss to Ramapo
By: Brittany Pavlichko l Published Dec. 21, 2016
Kean University’s women’s volleyball team ended their 2016 season with a record of 21-12, losing to Ramapo in the semi-finals.
The Cougars landed their spot in the postseason for their fifth straight consecutive year. They started the season strong with a five-game winning streak and had a seven-game winning streak in mid-October. They spent the early part of the season trying to establish a consistent lineup.
Entering the postseason, they defeated Rowan University 3-0 in the quarterfinals, but lost to Ramapo.
“I think they had to be shaken up by the way we started off that match.” said head coach Don Perkins. “We are a young team and eventually we cracked a little and gave them the room they needed to get on track and inch past us.”
The ladies had multiple assistant coaches besides their head coach; Jimmy Pompeo, Alix Denison and Audrey O’Donnell, as well as a volunteer, Mike Kucza.
Although the team faced challenges like injuries and long distance travel, they worked together and pulled off multiple win streaks.
“Those challenges were often seen as motivation, but sometimes pressure.” said Pompeo. “Although we finished in the same position for the past few seasons, we still had a successful and memorable season.”
One unique aspects of the ladies this season was that they were young. The team had one senior, but all had the same mindset and work ethic to make it into the postseason.
“The girls on this team wanted to play, work hard, and win for the person next to them not only every game, but every single pass, set and swing.” said senior Alexis Whitney. “The biggest strength of our team was how versatile we all were.”
Throughout the season the team focused on depth and middle attack. They played all three setters and three different liberos.
Sara Ridgway, Junior was rewarded with second team All-NJAC. Jess Larkin, Freshman was named NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference) Rookie of the year.
Next season, the Cougars want to strive for a better postseason and to continue their talent and bond on the court.