Marist College 3, Rider University 2
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Match
Gajewski Single Season Dig Record
LAWRENCEVILLE--In a match that featured 42 ties and 19 lead changes, the Marist College Red Foxes rallied from two sets down to defeat Rider University 3-2 on Sunday afternoon in the final match of the 2012 season.
Marist (12-16, 8-10 MAAC) won 22-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23, 16-14 in a match that took two hours and 18 minutes.
"We just couldn't finish today," said head coach Christopher Feliciano. "The later part of the match, we were undisciplined in too many of the crucial points after playing excellent in sets one and two."
For Rider (11-17, 4-14 MAAC), sophomore Ashlee Amatulli (Menifee, Calif./Temecula Valley) had 49 assists and 12 digs with sophomore Jaclyn Webber (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon) compiling 24 digs and 11 kills.
Also for the Broncs, junior Bridget Sheerin (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) had 14 digs and 13 kills with junior Megan Knott (West Caldwell/James Caldwell) compiling 20 kills, five digs and two blocks and freshman Alexa Becker (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Oak Ridge) added 21 digs.
Marist out-hit Rider .188 to .181.
The Broncs lost at Marist 3-1 on October 13 as the Red Foxes swept the season series.
Rider honored its senior class of Haley Wilson (Williamsburg, Iowa), Meg Cook (Warrington, Pa./Archbishop Wood), Stephanie Nagy (Muscatine, Iowa/Muscatine) and Brittany Gajewski (Whitehouse Station/Hunterdon Central) prior to the match.
"It hurts to lose on senior day," Feliciano said. "Developing a winning culture takes time and we are still developing that. We are becoming a team that is feared in the conference. Our seniors can be proud that they were at the forefront of this change. We know there is a lot of work still to be done but they sacrificed and what they gave to the program will benefit our younger players for years to come."
Gajewski had 27 digs in the match and finished the season with a Rider record 583 digs on the season. Evette Hoeffner had 564 digs for the Broncs in 2001. Gajewski finished the season 19th in the nation averaging 5.55 digs per set and she finished her career with 1,304 digs, fifth best all-time at Rider.
Nagy finished the match with nine kills, three digs and a block.
Rookie Nicole Moorman (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area HS) had eight kills, two solo blocks and hit .333 for the Broncs.
"It is great that we've had the depth that we've had," said Feliciano. "We lose four but gain five new players for 2013. The depth has gone a long way to helping in practice and had also helped the players push each other to become better."
Rider more than doubled its win total from the 2011 season but finished the 2012 campaign losing the final six matches, including the last two in five sets.
"The realization is that we are still a program that is rebuilding," Feliciano said. "I'm patient enough to know that we have shown considerable progress this season. Our RPI is higher and we've had a few conference weekly awards. We are making progress and that's the most important thing for the program. Do we want things faster? Sure we do but we are doing the things we need to do to make the program relevant."
The Broncs return 12 letterwinners for the 2013 season.
"A couple of the players already asked me when does spring practice start," Feliciano added. "That's a really positive sign, especially after such a tough weekend. The planning for August, 2013 starts tomorrow."