Fairfield University 3, Rider University 0
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Match
LAWRENCEVILLE--The Rider University volleyball team lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference match to Fairfield University on Sunday afternoon in Alumni Gymnasium.
The Stags won in straight sets 25-15, 25-19, 26-24.
"Fairfield is a good program and they have a rich history," said head coach Christopher Feliciano. "While they did beat us, I feel that we kind of got in our own way and did some things to ourselves. Take nothing away from Fairfield, they did a nice job but we didn't take advantage of some opportunities when they presented themselves to us."
For Rider (5-21, 3-11 MAAC), freshman Jaclyn Webber (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon) had 10 kills and seven digs with junior co-captain Brittany Gajewski (Whitehouse Station, N.J. (Hunterdon Central Regional) adding 13 digs.
"Jaclyn had a nice weekend," Feliciano said about Webber in today's match and her 12 kill, 12 dig effort on Saturday against Iona).
Junior Stephanie Nagy (Muscatine, Iowa/Muscatine) had nine kills for Rider.
"Stephanie had a nice match today," Feliciano added about his junior middle hitter hitting .444. "She also had two nice matches this weekend and is in the top five in hitting percentage in the MAAC. If we pass more consistently, we can get the ball to her and Jaclyn (Webber) more often."
The match featured 17 ties and seven lead changes with 12 of the ties and four of the lead changes coming in the third and final set.
"We stepped it up a notch in the final set," said Feliciano. "Part of our issue is that we have to believe that we can beat the better teams in the MAAC. In set three, we believed that. In sets one and two, I felt that we played while worried about the name on the front of their jersey. That comes with time and experience. You can't worry about the team you are playing against and the name and tradition that they carry."
The Stags swept the season series after defeating Rider 3-1 in Connecticut October 2. Fairfield defeated Rider twice last season, 3-0 in Lawrenceville and 3-1 at Fairfield and the Stags now lead the all-time series 19-5. Rider and Fairfield split the season series in 2009, with Rider giving the Stags one of only two conference losses that season.
"We were a ball handling error and an out hit away from winning the third set and if we would have pulled that off, you never know how the match would have finished," said Feliciano. "I was pleased that we made the effort to adjust and we put ourselves in a position to win. We play that way the entire match and again you just don't know the outcome."
Rider hosts Manhattan in a MAAC match Wednesday night. The Broncs lost to the Jaspers in Riverdale, New York by a 3-1 score on September 25.
"Our goal right now is to throw a wrench into the gears of who is going to make the conference playoffs," Feliciano added. "We have the ability to win the rest of our matches and play the role of spoiler as to who the top four teams will be. If teams do beat us, they are going to have to earn it and I think you saw some of that today and also on Saturday in the win over Iona. That's our goal in the final two weeks of the season."