The Roadrunner volleyball program experienced a breakout season last Fall, and head coach Rebecca Pierson hopes this is only the beginning of a winning tradition in the sport.
In 2018, the Runners qualified for the NJCAA Region XIX Division III playoffs for the first time in school history. As the No. 9 seed, they defeated Lehigh Carbon CC in the first round before falling to top seed and 6-time defending Region champion Northampton in the next round.
The playoff berth represented a remarkable turnaround in which the program improved from a 3-13 record in 2017 to 8-9 in 2018. Pierson accomplished this turnaround by adding outstanding first-year talent to a roster of veteran players back from the previous season.
The new campaign will present different challenges as Pierson returns just one sophomore – middle and outside hitter Taylor Caldas, a former Gloucester Catholic standout – but she will have a roster of talented freshmen.
"We lost a group of veteran players, but this team has a lot talent and they have been working hard to develop their own chemistry," said Pierson, who begins her fourth season. "I'm confident that we will be fine over the course of the season."
Pierson's team opens their 2019 campaign by hosting Lehigh Carbon Tuesday night in a 6 pm start, and local fans will get a solid indicator of how the new season will play out
Season Preview: Volleyball
Coach: Rebecca Pierson, Fourth Season.
Last Season: 8-9 overall record; won first round Region XIX playoff match vs. Lehigh Carbon; lost quarterfinal match to Northampton County.
Season opener: RCSJ will open its season on Tuesday, August 27, by hosting Lehigh Carbon in a 6 pm match.
Returning player: Taylor Caldas, So., Gloucester Catholic, middle and outside hitter.
Newcomers: Prospects include Katie Burrichter, Fr., Our Lady of Mercy Academy, libero; Dominique Marcano, Fr., GCIT, setter; Anna Kennedy, Fr., Deptford, defensive specialist; Lina Russo, Fr., Cherry Hill, right side/setter; Samantha Kosche, Fr., Sterling, right side; Shelbie Yard, Fr., Williamstown, Right Side/Setter;
Outlook for 2019 season: The Roadrunners may be a team on the rise following a solid debut performance in the Alumni game on August 22. The team appears to have plenty of depth, but will be gaining valuable experience early in the new campaign as they look to repeat the success of last season.
Coach Rebecca Pierson on her 2019 Roadrunners: "We're excited about the new season. We have some talented freshmen. We're confident we will be an improved team as the season gets underway. We're happy at this point with the players we have on our roster.
"Taylor (Caldas) has been remarkable in setting a positive example for our players too, and has helped the freshmen understand we are building a winning tradition."