Volleyball Drops First Two A-10 Contests


Morgan Williams led Fordham with 11 digs vs VCU.

By Tom Terzulli

Morgan Williams led Fordham with 11 digs vs VCU.

The Fordham Volleyball team is excited to come home. They wrapped up a grueling eight game road trip with a pair of straight set losses to A-10 opponents Davidson and Virginia Commonwealth over the weekend.

“Being on the road takes a big toll on us as players and coaches, so it will be nice to be back in our home gym,” head coach Gini Ullery-Shrift said on Tuesday. “We can control what we can control. We are excited to get home and play some high-level volleyball.”

Fordham dropped to 8-7 overall after losing six of their last eight matches.

The Rams kept it close in the first two sets against the Wildcats, falling 25-22 in each of the first two frames. A tired-out group could not keep up in the final stanza with a 25-17 loss.

Sophomore Kaitlin Morley led Fordham with 13 kills (.300) and six digs, while fellow second-year player Olivia Fairchild put up nine, along with four digs and three aces. The pair each registered a block a piece. Junior Olivia LaPorta and senior Nicole Freeley were the block leaders with three each. Junior setter Maddy Walsh assisted on 28 kills and served up two aces. Sophomore Morgan Williams’ nine digs led the team.

Scoring stayed mostly the same against an extremely tough opponent in the VCU Rams, who came into the match 14-2 on the year.

It was close in the first two sets with scores of 25-22 and 26-24. However, the Rams yet again could not keep the energy up in the third, getting blown out 25-16, en route to their fifth straight sets loss of the season.

“Our goal going into the weekend was not to go 0-2, so we are a little disappointed in the outcome,” Ullery-Shrift said. “But, when we compete at our highest level and play our best, we are in any match with any team. We showed that in the first two sets of both matches because we were able to stay in the game.”

Morley was the kills leader once again with 13, doing it at an efficient .333 clip and adding 11 digs.

“Kaitlin did a great job of doing whatever she could with the ball she was given,” Ullery-Shrift said. “Her attacking is getting better every week and it didn’t matter what type of set she got, she had different approaches to the ball.”

Williams had the same amount of digs to tie for the team lead. Fairchild, the Ram kill leader for the season, continued her struggles on the weekend, failing to hit double figures for the second straight match. She matched a career low five kills on 19 total attacks, chipping in nine digs and two blocks. It’s the first time in her young career that she has failed to reach ten kills in back to back contests.

Freshman McKenna Lahr picked up the slack with eight kills, while both LaPorta and Freely had a three in the kill column. LaPorta also led the team with three blocks, good for her fourth straight match where she has blocked at least three attempts.

For the first time since Sept. 5, The Rose Hill gym hosts Fordham’s next match when they face George Mason on Friday, Sept. 29. It is a 7 p.m. start, kicking off a four game homestead.