You knew it would be like this all night — competitive, with plenty of athleticism and eye-popping plays.
The RCSJ Gloucester and Ocean County College volleyball teams followed the script perfectly. What did you expect from two of the top teams in Region XIX and the Garden State Athletic Conference?
The Roadrunners emerged the winner by a 3-1 in a match highlighted by solid attacks and defensive play on both sides of the net. And you can thank the sophomore leadership of middle hitter Taylor Caldas (Gloucester Catholic) and exceptional play from middle hitter Syasia Bryant as keys to the Runners' sixth straight victory.
"We've really come together as a team nicely and it's showing," said Caldas, the team's lone sophomore. "We didn't know each other very well early in the season, and we were up against some good teams. Now we believe in ourselves and feel we're one of the top teams in the region."
After falling behind early 1-0, the Caldas, Bryant and the Runners took command. ADDITIONAL PHOTO GALLERY, 107 ACTION SHOTS FROM THE MATCH...
The Vikings struck first with a hard fought 25-22 win in set 1. The set was tied 22-22 before the visitors ran off the final three points for the triumph. OCC also went on an 11-0 run midway through the match for a 15-8 lead.
The Runners then hung on for a 25-23 win in Match 2 thanks to fine play at the nets by Caldas (Gloucester Catholic) and Bryant (Arts High). RCSJ built a commanding 19-14 lead thanks to a pair of solid plays by Caldas, but had to fight off an OCC rally. Bryant delivered two key points near the end of the set to help her team tie up the match at 1-1.
"We never panicked after getting behind -- we knew we needed to pick up our play and we did," said Bryant. "We know how to move on from early mistakes and support each other."
Terrific play at the net by Bryant and steady efforts by libero Katie Burrichter (Our Lady of Mercy), outside hitter Macenzie Long (Williamstown) and setter Domonique Marcano (GCIT) set the stage for a 25-20 Runners' victory in set three for a 2-1 lead.
The Runners then closed out the win with a solid 25-21 triumph in set four. The home team improved their overall record to 9-5 overall and 7-1 in the conference. The Vikings dropped to 6-4 overall. Next up will be an away match at Atlantic Cape Community College Thursday night at 6 pm followed by a home match vs. Brookdale CC Saturday at 12 noon.
GAME DAY INFORMATION
RCSJ-Gloucester vs. Ocean CC
October 8, 2019
Rowan College South Jersey, Gloucester
Rebecca Pierson, RCSJ Gloucester
Sandy Stout, Ocean College
Roadrunners: 8-5, 6-1
Vikings: 6-3, 2-1
Watch Live at RCRoadrunners.com