Fall Preview: Volleyball Searches for Improvement in Choi’s Second Year

Fall Preview for Fordham's volleyball team.


Due to renovations, Fordham Volleyball will be forced to play on the road for the first month of the season. (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

By Gigi Speer

After finishing the 2018–2019 season on a high with their exciting five-set victory over A10 foe George Mason, the 2019–2020 squad will be gearing up for a great and competitive campaign. It will kick off its play August 30 in Atlanta, Georgia and will start Atlantic 10 play in late September.

The Rams finished conference play with a record of 3-11, and an overall record of 10-17, a win percentage they are hoping to increase with the goal of making the Atlantic 10 tournament.

“We are anticipating it to be a challenging season, but we are working hard to break the streak of not making A-10s and hopefully find ourselves playing for a championship this year,” junior stud McKenna Lahr notes.

Furthermore, Head Coach Ian Choi hopes that the Rams will maintain their success, focusing on the back end of the season in order to qualify: “Our goals comparatively to last year, are to start peaking later which means we can continue to develop and sharpen our skills, technique, and knowledge a little longer to create a higher ceiling for our level of play.”

Not only does he want to drill technique into this roster, but he hopes to finish in the top six of the conference.

In order to add more depth and talent in hopes of qualifying for a shot at the A-10 title, the squad is excited about their six additions to the Class of 2023: freshmans Megan Brzozowski, Aneliesa Cartledge, Jessica Doty, Mallory Lipski, Aria De La Rosa and Chloe Pejouan.

In order to incorporate the newcomers and ensure the whole team is ready for competition, the key is in intelligent practices: “Since volleyball is a high impact sport we as coaches have to be mindful of how frequently our athletes max jump in any given practice but with the depth of middle blockers we have some more jumps and opportunities to work with.”

Lahr attests to this adaptive practice method: “What we’re excited for is getting the chance to play with the incoming freshmen and really establish ourselves as a top contender in our conference. We’re working everyday on new things to ensure we will be at our best when we start conference play.”
Of course, the team is led best by its upperclassmen, who will lead and inspire younger players.

Liberos seniors Morgan Williams and Michelle Rodrigues combine with two fellow seniors in blocker Elise Benjamin and hitter Kaitlin Morley to create an unstoppable force on the court.

Coach Choi is encouraged by having such a great group of leaders: “I’m happy to see an intrinsic motivation for the game combined with the maturity of our seniors to hold the team and themselves accountable for the work and discipline required to make a splash in our conference.”

This combination of great senior leadership and young, raw talent will be sure to push the Rams up the ranks of the A-10.

“The culture of the program is only getting brighter and more refined and as we continue to be process-oriented we should only see improvement.” Choi states.