Volleyball Still Skidding, 2-9 in A-10


Morgan Williams unleashes a serve. (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

By Emmanuel Berbari

Fordham Volleyball continued reeling this past weekend, dropping consecutive matches for the third weekend in a row and falling to 2-9 in conference play. The Rams are only one game out of the A-10 cellar and have dropped nine of 10, thanks to losses at 8-3 La Salle and 6-5 Duquesne.

“[A losing streak] doesn’t deter us from being process-oriented,” said head coach Ian Choi. “And it’s our job as coaches to find the winning formula for our squad.”

The Pennsylvania trip did not lack fight, toughness or teamwork, as Fordham exhibited all three qualities. Choi’s squad was never blown away in a set, but it could not reach a defining moment against two of the conference’s top-tier teams.

Friday night’s loss against La Salle could actually be seen as progress in many ways for a young Fordham team. The Rams grabbed the second set, 25-23, but were handled in the other three.

Fordham showcased a distinct advantage in size up front, winning the blocking battle 8-1, but did not display the same poise and serving prowess that La Salle brought to the table.

La Salle registered seven service aces to Fordham’s one and won the dig battle 81-67.
Senior Natalie Martinez was the most efficient and effective Ram, tallying 14 kills, three digs and two blocks en route to a .433 hit percentage in the losing effort.

The Rams were tantalized by Devin Corah, who accumulated 25 kills on her way to a .500 hit percentage on the winning side.

Grabbing a set against a team that could very well compete for the conference title was a building block, but Sunday’s showing at Duquesne was somewhat of a setback — if that’s even possible for a team that has been scuffling.

Duquesne are nowhere near as polished as the Explorers, yet managed to turn aside the Rams in straight sets. Even more discouraging was the fact that the Rams could have earned the same result with a few bounces their way.

With a final count of 25-23, 25-22, 29-27, Fordham was within spitting distance of grabbing a set–particularly in the final frame–on numerous occasions.

Every statistical category was relatively close, with the exception of digs, where Duquesne bested Fordham, 64-48.

Camryn Vecera, Maddie Bazelak and Erin Cunningham led the way for Duquesne, combining for 40 digs in the defensive effort. Sophomore McKenna Lahr led the way for Fordham, rising for 12 kills on the wrong end of the sweep.

Fordham will be pleased with the fact that only one more regular season road match remains, as the group gears up for a trip to 1-10 Rhode Island this Friday, hoping to stay out of last place.

After that, it is home cooking the following weekend, as the final three matches could serve as an identity test for this young core.
“The team has grown immensely this season,” said Choi. “The season is definitely a grind, but these student athletes are consistently excited to compete.”