Volleyball Falls to Eastern Michigan in Season Opener
Queens, N.Y. – The 2018 season got underway for the Fordham volleyball team on Friday morning inside St. John's Taffner Field House as The Rams fell to Eastern Michigan in straight sets, 25-21, 25-19, 25-17, in their opening match of the Jack Kaiser Classic. "It was an exciting challenge to see a team with such a drastically different offensive style than what we typically see in conference," Head coach Ian Choi said, "It's given us a blueprint for our training for the weeks ahead." Fordham was led offensively by McKenna Lahr and Kaitlin Morley, each tallying nine kills, with the latter falling one short of a double-double by adding 15 digs on the defensive end, three shy of her career high. Lahr chipped in eight digs, as well, with Morgan Williams and Maddy Walsh adding nine and seven, respectively. Walsh, with 13, Sophia Plett, with nine, and Makaela Tanaka, with five, combined for 27 assists. The trio of Lahr, Olivia LaPorta, and Claire O'Neil each recorded two blocks with Joey Landeros adding one, as well. One of Laporta's was solo. The Rams tossed up three aces in the match after finishing last season with a conference-leading 192. Plett, Walsh, and Michelle Rodriguez each notched one, the latter being the junior's first of her career. Choi opted for a starting lineup of LaPorta, Morley, Natalie Martinez, O'Neil, Walsh, Lahr, and Williams at libero. The Rams and Eagles went back-and-forth in the early going; Lahr gave Fordham its first kill and point of the season and O'Neil gave the team its first lead with a kill right after, 2-1. Eventually Eastern Michigan put together a run in the middle of the set, going up as much as nine, 21-12, but, the Rams finished the set on a 9-4 run. The Rams took an early 4-1 lead in the second frame but the Eagles answered with four quick points and eventually took the lead for good at 8-7. Fordham didn't trail by more than four points until Eastern Michigan pulled away in the set with a 9-5 run. The Eagles led throughout the third set. Five Rams made their debuts on Friday. O'Neil got the start and led the Rams with a .250 attack percentage, posting five kills on 12 attacks and adding two block assists. Landeros chipped in four kills, Makaela Tanaka five assists, Alena Cashdan two digs, and Rodriguez the aforementioned ace. The Rams wrap up the Kaiser Classic tomorrow against St. John's, at 10 a.m., and Central Connecticut State, at 1 p.m. The former will be streamed live online via St. John's website.