Volleyball Splits Saturday Doubleheader to Wrap Up Kaiser Classic
Queens, N.Y. – The Fordham volleyball team got its first win of the season and under first-year head coach Ian Choi on Saturday in the final match of the Jack Kaiser Classic hosted by St. John's. The Rams fell to the Red Storm in the middle match of the weekend, 3-1, after securing their first set victory of the season to tie things up at one-all, but rebounded with a 3-1 win over Central Connecticut State immediately after. With the day's results, Fordham moves to 1-2 on the season. "I'm really happy with the competitive maturity of this team," Choi said, "They showed resiliency by sticking to the game plan. I'm especially proud of our freshmen with how they instantly acclimated to Division I volleyball. Our team stayed positive under duress and competitive when called upon." Facing an undefeated-through-two-matches St. John's team, the Rams showed that resiliency by responding to a 25-18 first-set defeat with a 25-20 win in set two. The two schools battled closely in sets three and four but the hosts secured the overall win. The offense played solidly, with no set under a .162 attack percentage, and .300 or better in sets two and four. Offensively, junior captain Kaitlin Morley led the way with a career-best 19 kills on 43 attacks, adding 14 digs and a career-high five blocks, for the first of her two double-doubles on the day. McKenna Lahr also double-doubled against St. John's, with 11 kills and a career-high 21 digs. Freshman Claire O'Neilenjoyed a solid all-around game with nine kills (.333 attack percentage), four blocks, and an ace. Three Rams had at least four blocks, with senior Olivia LaPorta blocking six shots, one solo, to go with four kills on nine attacks. Freshman Makaela Tanaka made her first career start and assisted on 40 points, the most by a rookie since Abigail Konovodoff in 2012. Morgan Williams notched 11 digs. The Rams tallied 62 kills against Central Connecticut State to the Blue Devils' 37, hitting .176 as a team. O'Neil continued her stellar play on the day with a team-high 15 kills on 30 total attacks (.367) while adding four more blocks and a team-high three aces. Morley double-doubled again with 13 kills and 14 digs and the duo of McKenna Lahr and Bella Ureña each tallied nine kills apiece, the latter making her collegiate debut and added 13 digs for her first career double-double. LaPorta chipped in six kills and a team-best six blocks. Sophomore setter Sophia Plett came off the bench for a career-high 47 assists and nearly double-doubeld with nine digs. Williams was solid defensively with 24 digs, four short of her career-high. The Rams showed that resiliency again after falling behind 1-0 for the third consecutive match, rallying for three straight wins, 25-21, 25-18, and 25-23 to secure their first victory. Fordham returns home for the 12th annual Rose Hill Classic next weekend, hosting Marist and Charlotte next Friday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, before wrapping up the tournament against Bryant on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. All three matches will be streamed live on ESPN+.