Drew University’s men’s volleyball team kicked off their second season with a tough game against Misericordia University in the Baldwin Gym on Jan. 17. The game did not start out in the Rangers’ favor—despite Drew putting up a strong fight, the Misericordia Cougars managed to pull ahead at the end of both of the first two sets, winning 25-19 and 25-18, respectively. Energy remained high among the Rangers’ supporters, even as Misericordia established a definitive lead, but with the Cougars only needing to win one more set to win the entire match, tension began to rise in the audience.
Fortunately, the Rangers managed to rally together for an exciting comeback during the next two sets. The scores were even closer than at the start of the game, and neither side was able to gain a definitive lead for long. Drew’s players became cleaner with their plays; their serves were better executed with fewer errors. The Rangers’ sudden resurgence propelled them to capture the next two sets; Drew won 25-23 and 25-22 to tie the overall score before heading into a final fifth set.
The unexpected fifth set kept Rangers fans hopeful in the stands, but ultimately ended in a 15-8 win for Misericordia, who remained steadily ahead of the Rangers in the last few minutes of the game. The Rangers finished the game with a final score of 2-3, marking a close loss for Drew in their first game of the season.
In spite of the loss, the Rangers had several players show an impressive performance throughout the game. Ephraim Smith (‘25) led the way by making 17 kills over the course of the night, with an impressive eight being fired off in the third set, Drew’s first win of the game. Omarf Ortega-Reyes (‘24) contributed strongly to the Rangers efforts with eight kills, while Jason Barbosa (‘26) made a splash in his first game as a Drew Ranger, also putting up eight kills.
The Rangers continue to show off their skills on the court as the season has progressed with several games since the opener. Their next match will be against Wells College on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Charlotte Wells is a junior majoring in English and French and minoring in humanities.