Rider University 3, Manhattan College 2
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Match
LAWRENCEVILLE--Sophomore Jaclyn Webber (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon) had 23 digs and 13 kills with senior Stephanie Nagy (Muscatine, Iowa/Muscatine) adding 17 kills and three blocks and junior Megan Knott (West Caldwell/James Caldwell) compiled 12 kills and 12 digs as the Rider University volleyball team defeated Manhattan College 3-2 on Saturday afternoon in Alumni Gymnasium.
Rider (8-8, 2-5 MAAC) won 25-21, 15-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-10.
"We stayed in system today," said head coach Christopher Feliciano about the key to the match. "Jaclyn Webber was the 'glue' for us. We are working on her becoming not only an offensive leader but a defensive one as well and she did that. She had great communication with her teammates and has this 'bulldog' mentality and this refusal to lose that rubs off on everyone."
Also for the Broncs, sophomore Ashlee Amatulli (Menifee, Calif./Temecula Valley) had 50 assists and 15 digs, junior Bridget Sheerin (Oaklawn, Ill./Marist) had 15 digs and nine kills, freshman Nicole Moorman (Moon Twp., Pa./Moon Area HS) had 11 kills and six blocks while hitting .321 and senior Brittany Gajewski (Whitehouse Station/Hunterdon Central) added 33 digs.
"Our serve receivers did a phenomenal job and Ashlee (Amatulli) made some great decisions," said Feliciano. "Our game plan was to run a lot of things out of the middle."
"The key was the serve receive," Moorman said. "Ashlee was able to run the offense and the whole team just came together great. To win the match in five sets is an unbelievable feeling."
"We struggled with our serve receive the first time we faced Manhattan (September 26)," said Nagy. "When the serve receive is on, that's when I can get set and that's why I was successful and the team was as well."
This was Rider's second straight five-set win and the Broncs improved to 4-2 this season in matches that have gone the distance.
The match featured 18 ties and eight lead changes.
Rider trailed 20-17 in the opening set before an 8-1 run (off of four Manhattan errors) gave the Broncs a 1-0 lead in the match.
After the Jaspers won set two by 10 points, the Broncs rebounded and broke a late 22-22 tie to win three of the final four points including two kills by Nagy to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Manhattan forced the fifth and final set with a two-point win in set four.
Rider broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth set with a 4-0 run, including kills by Knott and Moorman to go ahead 6-2. After the Jaspers cut the Bronc lead to 6-4, Sheerin and Webber had kills to put Rider ahead 8-4 before the Jaspers rallied, scoring four of the next six points.
Leading 10-8, two kills by Knott allowed Rider to score five of the final seven points and clinch the match with a 15-10 win.
"The match went well," Knott said. "I feel really, really good and I feel that we finally meshed together today. Our biggest adjustment from the first time we played Manhattan was that we listened to the coaches and stuck with the game plan."
"Set five was a great performance by everyone," Feliciano added.
Each team had 113 digs with Rider out-hitting the Jaspers .178 to .151.
Rider broke a 13-match losing streak to the Jaspers. Manhattan defeated Rider 3-0 on September 26 in Riverdale, New York.
The Broncs improved to 5-1 at home this season.
Winners of two straight matches, Rider hosts Saint Peter's University on Sunday in a MAAC match at 1pm.
"We know Saint Peter's is going to be tougher than last year," said Feliciano about the Peahens whom Rider defeated three times in 2011. "They have a new coach and they run a great system. They are going to be a tough challenge and we have to be ready for it."