By Emmanuel Berbari
A battle to stay out of last place in the Atlantic 10 did not go Fordham Volleyball’s way as the group dropped its seventh straight match at Rhode Island in straight sets, 25-16, 25-23, 25-22.
If you pinpointed a date that the Rams could snap out of their skid, Nov. 3 would have been a safe bet.
Instead, both teams now hold a 2-10 conference mark and are locked in the cellar.
URI collected two more serveice aces and dominated up front with eight more blocks.
“Rhode Island took care of the ball,” said sophomore McKenna Lahr. “We made a lot of hitting errors, and, in the end, that ended up costing us the game.”
Fordham hit only .083 for the match and committed 27 errors to Rhode Island’s eight.
Junior Jenna McGuire tallied five kills and nine block attempts for the opposing Rams, while freshman Mariah Paulette hit .400 with five denials of her own.
On Fordham’s side, Kaitlyn Morley did all she could to keep the team in the match, collecting 15 kills at a .265 rate, but the combination of Lahr, freshman Claire O’Neil and senior Olivia LaPorta hit -.375, -.125 and -.333, respectively.
Ian Choi’s group won the kill and dig battle but played one of its sloppier matches of the season.
“We know we are a strong team and had the opportunity to get the win,” said Lahr. “However, when it came to execution, Rhode Island did better.”
Entering the final weekend of the season, Fordham will be playing for nothing more than confidence and additional chemistry entering next season. With an extremely young group, it is safe to say that this has been the motto all year, win or lose.
“Losing, either way, is difficult,” said Lahr. “But knowing it is against a team that we have beaten in the past makes it a bit worse.”
The squad returns to Rose Hill to face George Washington, a team at 3-9 and not in postseason position, and George Mason, a unit on its way to the A-10 Tournament and battling for seeding.
Both matches will provide opportunities for growth, and potentially a statement, ahead of the offseason. Snapping a losing streak that has been hovering over the team for a month will be the first order of business.
“We plan to play hard and fight for a positive end,” said Lahr. “We are expecting them to come out looking for blood. We have a lot to prove to ourselves and the university and we plan to work hard in practice this week and hope that all of the work we have put into this season will show in the outcome of the weekend.”