By Andrea Garcia
The women’s volleyball team hosted its last regular season game on Saturday afternoon. The Fordham Rams ended up being swept under the rug by the Rhode Island Rams in a three-set battle.
Rhode Island’s offense got off to a quick start, but freshman Olivia Fairchild answered with a kill of her own to open the scoring for Fordham. The teams kept siding out until the 8-8 mark. The visiting Rams pulled ahead with a kill, a Fordham hitting error and an ace, giving themselves some breathing room at 11-8. Fordham took back the serve off a Rhode Island serving error but could not hold off a series of attacks from the opposing front row. The Rhode Island five-one offense allowed for outside hitter Audrey Castro, middle hitter Layne Self and starting setter Callan Kinnan to take four total kills. With four down balls and two Fordham hitting errors, Rhode Island extended its lead by six points, 17-9. The visitors kept this lead up through the end of the first set, winning by a score of 25-19.
Despite being on the road, the Rhode Island Rams appeared to shake Fordham’s confidence in the second set. Within the first two rotations, Rhode Island arrived at an early 7-2 lead secured by four Fordham errors. The home Rams sided out to rally around two more points before the visitors took full control of the court. After siding off Fordham’s service error, the Rhode Island Rams held their opponents hostage while going on a 10 point run. They rolled out five aces, three kills and a Fordham hitting error to command the court with a 17-4 lead. Fordham sided out only three more times in the set, and each rotation fell after a Rhode Island error. The inevitable win for the visitors was called at 25-7.
However, Fordham was not yet ready to give Rhode Island the win. In the third set, the two sides held each other out with the lead never exceeding three points until Fordham reached double digits. With a three-point run via two front row kills and an ace, Fordham took a 12-8 lead. Rhode Island responded with two three-point runs of its own. The first was a mixed effort from Rhode Island’s middle and outside hitters. It was interrupted by a single outside error, only to pick up steam again thanks to three consecutive Fordham errors.
With the set tied at 14, both teams were looking for a chance to squeeze out a marginal lead. Neither was able to find space for more than a two-point advantage, however. At the 21-21 mark, Rhode Island edged out two points at the net with an outside kill and an error from Fordham’s opposite hitter. While the visitors only had to fight for two more points to close out the series, an error from the outside corner gave Fordham a glimmer of hope, trailing 23-22. A Rhode Island outside kill reclaimed the serve and brought them to 24-22, one point shy of the win.
Hoping to reach a fourth set, Fordham sought to exceed the needed 25 points. Fordham’s offense looked for a hole in Rhode Island’s defense but was blocked by their opponent’s middle hitter and setter. Reaching up at the net for the last swing of the series, junior Molly Oshinski made a valiant attempt from Fordham’s outside, but an error on her part offered the last winning point to the Rhode Island Rams, 25-22.
Senior middle Kristen Ostach tallied a team-high of eight kills to finish off the last regular season of her college career. The Rams finished with an 11-18 record and a 4-10 standing in the Atlantic 10 Conference.