Fairfield University 3, Rider University 2
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Match
FAIRFIELD, Conn.—The Rider University volleyball team pushed the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Fairfield Stags to the limit before losing in five sets on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Hall.
“I thought we played a great match, against the defending conference champions,” said head coach Christopher Feliciano. “While we lost, it was one heck of a match, one that could have gone either way. I can’t complain.”
The Stags rallied from a two sets to one deficit to defeat Rider (10-5, 2-3 MAAC) 27-29, 25-18, 20-25, 25-20, 15-12.
The match lasted over two hours and featured 31 ties and 17 lead changes.
“We have a team that can not only finish higher than last season (11 wins) but also surprise some people,” Feliciano added. “We need to continue to work hard and do the right things and take those steps to continue the improvement.”
For Rider, junior Jaclyn Webber (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon) had 15 kills, 10 digs and five blocks with freshman Ryan Ackermann (Leesburg, Va./Stone Bridge) adding 13 kills, nine digs and two service aces.
Sophomore Nicole Moorman (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area HS) had eight blocks and seven kills, hitting .333 with junior Ashlee Amatulli (Menifee, Calif./Temecula Valley) compiling 25 assists and 11 digs.
“I thought Nicole played the best match of her collegiate career,” Feliciano said. “Players that have been struggling a little bit stepped up today. I’ll take that type of effort from the team any day of the week.”
The Stags swept Rider 3-0, 3-0 last season and Fairfield has won 22 of 27 in the all-time series. The Broncs last won against the Stags during the 2009 season.
The teams meet in Lawrenceville for a MAAC match on November 3.
Rider lost to Quinnipiac on Saturday 3-1 and even though the Broncs went 0-2 for the weekend, Feliciano was particularly happy with today’s effort.
“We talked after the match about how easy we made it for Quinnipiac to get the win,” said Feliciano. “Not taking anything away from them but we did a lot of things to ourselves and we rebounded with a strong effort today. Last year, we lose a match like we did on Saturday and we would have gotten blown out Sunday. The team showed resiliency, showed maturity and the upperclassmen especially showed leadership to help us fight through and give Fairfield a battle. That effort is what it takes to win MAAC matches.”
Rider returns home October 12-13 to face Marist and Siena in a pair of MAAC matches at 1 p.m. in Alumni Gymnasium.