RUTHERFORD, N.J. – When Jenna Matesic (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) came to Felician College, she was used to playing on winning volleyball teams. She was on the freshman team at Paramus High when the varsity won a state championship, and her tenure on the varsity was marked with deep runs into the county and state tournaments.
But it is likely that no one match victory meant more to Matesic than Felician's five-set win over Goldey-Beacom College last Saturday. The triumph ended a 42-match losing streak for the Golden Falcons dating back to October of 2010, and Matesic, the team's only senior, was the only player on the floor for the entirety of that stretch.
"Just to get that win felt like winning a championship," said the 5-foot-9 outside hitter. "That may sound crazy, but you have to understand what it feels like to work so hard for something for so long and have it get away from you."
Felician won the Goldey-Beacom match in dramatic fashion, saving a match point before securing an 18-16 fifth-set victory. The match ended on Matesic's service ace. Though Matesic had 14 kills and 20 digs on the afternoon, she was not satisfied with her performance.
"I felt like I had a bad day, and I felt like that ace was my make-up to the team," she said. "I'm so proud of our freshmen and the way they executed all day."
Matesic is hoping the victory is not a goal in an of itself, but merely the gateway to larger accomplishments. The Golden Falcons (1-9 overall, 1-3 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference) still have 15 CACC matches remaining, beginning with Friday night's tilt at Dominican (N.Y.) College. Matesic is also 13 kills away from becoming Felician's all-time leader in that category.
"We're a young team that is still finding our chemistry," Matesic said. "I feel like this win tells us we can compete with the teams high in our conference rankings. If we play better, we now know that we can be great competitors against anyone."