Stockton fans rushed to Big Blue on Thursday Night to see Stockton volleyball’s first match in the NJAC tournament. They showed their support by wearing white, matching the players in their home jerseys. During the warmup, just before the game, the Ospreys were pounding great balls and ready to face their rival, Kean, again. Despite this, Stockton lost to Kean, 0-3.
Stockton lost the first set 22-25 with various mis-hits and digs, not warranting concern from fans right away; however, during the second set, things began to fall apart. Uncharacteristic mistakes continually occurred, and the Osprey’s flow ceased. Misserves at crucial points of the game sealed Stockton’s fate. At the start of the third set, there were 3 slideouts, and then Stockton returned it instantly with a misserve. The Ospreys were in desperate need of a seemingly unattainable momentum shift, resulting in Kean’s victory.
Many consider this loss not to be a matter of skill, but one of experience. Kean had more upperclassmen starting compared to the relatively young Stockton team. Additionally, Keane had to play an additional NJAC match to compete against the Ospreys. It took Kean five sets to beat the lower-ranking Ramapo team and Stockton beat Ramapo in three sets earlier in the season. Kean got their nerves out in the game prior, while Stockton struggled to gain their footing.
Despite the outcome of the match, Stockton volleyball hopes for a better season next year. By next year, the freshmen players will have an additional year of experience, such as freshman Kate Louer, who was named NJAC Rookie of the Year.
However, Stockton will be losing senior Haley Green, who was named NJAC First Team for the second time in her career. Green remarks that “being a leader for this has been an amazing opportunity for me to encourage and inspire our younger players. Everyone has the ability to lead with positivity and raise confidence for the team, as well as themselves. .. I hope to leave the team with the inspiration that everyone can be a leader. ..Success for us is defined by the way we rise together during tough times, work and grow as a team.”
After graduation, Haley will be going to the University of Rhode Island to earn a Master’s degree in Ocean Engineering. The former Osprey will surely be missed.