The new athletic season for colleges and universities throughout the nation began last month shortly after the fall season began. At Monroe College, of course, academics are the priority for students and staff, but there is intense interest in the happenings on the playing fields for its superior athletic teams.
On Saturday afternoon, at the Monroe Athletic Complex (MAC), the Monroe volleyball squad (32-5) defeated Nassau Community College in three straight sets to capture the Division II, Region XV title. The victory was Monroe’s 16th of 16 played this season at their home arena.
The victory was the 20th consecutive for the 18th ranked D.II volleyball team in the NJCAA. The last match lost by the female Mustangs occurred on September 15 at New Port Richey, Florida to Florida College.
The Mustangs have not only been successfully in winning matches, but have won them decisively. The team has won 30 of its last 31 sets. The last set lost by Monroe came on October 1 to Montgomery County Community College in a match won by the Mustangs.
Monroe will host the next round of playoffs, the District Championship on November 3 and 4. Being undefeated at home this year should be advantageous to the Mustangs.
If successful at the District level, Monroe will travel to Toledo, Ohio for the National Tournament. The location will not be unfamiliar to the Mustangs as they played seven matches in Toledo, winning four, early in the season.
Coach Nephtali Delgado-Reyes said of his team after the win on Saturday, “We are Region Champions, but this is only the beginning of what we plan. The Districts are next weekend. It’s the first time we’re hosting them and we want to go well and advance to the nationals. That’s our goal and we’ll be working hard toward it all week.”
Later that same day, an exciting overtime victory by the Monroe men’s soccer team (9-3) over conference rival, ASA (12-2-2), gave the Region XV, Division I, title to Monroe for the third consecutive season.
Both clubs were unable to score a goal during regulation time. Emerson Barros captured a ball that bounded off the head of teammate Mamadee Kamara and kicked it into the opposing goal for the only score of the contest at 95:41.
After the contest concluded, the elated coach, Marcis DiBernardo, addressed his team, “Every single one of you played hard and even if we had not won, we would be equally proud because of the way you conducted yourselves and competed in this game.”
Stephen Jerome, the college president told the players, “That was the most exciting single goal we’ve ever had at Monroe College. You really deserved to win.”
The Mustangs, undefeated in all three home games, will return home on November 3 to host the four-team District Championship. The winner will advance to the National Tournament to be held at Dawson College in Albany, Georgia on November 12.
Monroe’s female soccer team is undefeated (12-0) and ranked 6th in the nation in Division I of the NJCAA. Like their counterparts on the college’s volleyball team, the soccer squad will be competing in the District on November 3 and 4. They will play on a pitch in Rochester, New York.
They have dominated their opponents all season, scoring 72 goals while only allowing eight. Coach Jonathon Garber has successfully stressed teamwork, yet the work of two players stand out.
Goalkeeper Devyn Bryar, a Massachusetts freshman, has allowed only 0.70 goals per game. Her superior athleticism and alertness has given her teammates an excellent opportunity to gain a win in every game.
Mid-fielder Mikaela Howell traveled from her hometown of Basingstoke, England to enroll at Monroe. Howell’s 30 goals are ranked fifth in the nation; she is second in the nation with 23 assists; her total of 83 points is second in the nation. She scored her 30 goals in only 57 shots.
After the final game of the regular season, Garber commented, “Now the real work begins…We’re going to train hard, scrimmage hard and mentally prepare ourselves for what’s ahead.”
The play of the three teams will be viewed closely next weekend as all three will be attempting to reach the national finals by achieving success during the District Championships.