Close Battles Move Volleyball to 7-5


Fordham Volleyball played several close matches last week. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Gigi Speer, Contributing Writer

On Wednesday night, Fordham Volleyball defeated Manhattan in the annual “Battle of the Bronx” match after falling into an early deficit.

After losing the first two sets 21–25, 24–26, in addition to an early injury for senior co-captain Kaitlin Morley, the Rams rallied to overtake the Jaspers 25–13, 25–21, 15-7 in the following sets, the team’s second five-set match of the season.

Not only did the team set a season high record of 10 aces, individual players also stepped up to deliver an impressive stat line. Redshirt junior Olivia Fairchild led the way with 15 kills on an impressive .414 hitting percentage, junior McKenna Lahr followed with 11 kills, four aces, three blocks and a career-high 24 digs to pair with senior Morgan Williams’ 20 digs. Other career-highs included sophomore Bella Ureña’s and freshman Aria De La Rosa’s 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Freshman setter Megan Brzozowski also chipped in a season-high 35 assists.

On Thursday in Morningside Heights, the Rams faced their most offensively-effective team in Columbia, as the Lions finished with a .278 team hit percentage against Fordham’s .176. Fordham Head Coach Ian Choi highlights one of Columbia’s middle blockers, Chichi Ikwuazom, in particular, as a strong attacker that will serve as a solid defensive practice heading into Atlantic 10 play this weekend.

Each of the four sets was close: 25–21, 30–28, 20–25, 25–18. Clutch performances included Lahr’s kill to push the team to 28–27 in the second set, sophomore Joey Landeros’ timely ace in the third set to break the 19–19 tie, De La Rosa’s block and Ureña’s ace to give the Rams the win in the third set.

Williams continued to climb up the all-time leaderboards, moving up to second-all time in career digs with 1,480, passing 2006 graduate Tasha Johnston, and Williams is now 182 digs away from Stephanie Frost’s 2006 record.

On Friday, Fordham Volleyball played its third five-set match of the season, falling to LIU Brooklyn 25–22, 20–25, 15–25, 25–21, 16–14, as they finish non-conference play 7–5, better than their 7–6 record this time last year.

The Rams put up an impressive offensive performance, matching the Sharks’ 56 kills on a better clip: .197 to LIU Brooklyn’s .153. The team also tallied an impressive 15 blocks, equaling their season-high from their season-opening win over Lamar, and finished with 94 digs over five sets, nearly reaching the 100-dig mark for the second time in the last week.

The Rams will start their Atlantic 10 season this Saturday, Sept. 28, when they visit Rhode Island in a battle of the Rams at 4 p.m.