Volleyball Begins the Work Back to the A-10 Playoffs


Moody (above) and the Rams are now a team with expectations after a surprise appearance in the A-10 Championship last season. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Posting a .500 record in their return to Rose Hill after a 451 day hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fordham Volleyball made their way to Atlantic 10 playoffs for the first time in a decade. That was this spring, and their final game was on April 2 against the eventual champion University of Dayton Flyers. 

Now, only a little bit more than five months later, the squad is looking to kick off their 2021-2022 campaign West Coast style at the Titan Classic in Fullerton, California. The Rams opened up against the University of New Mexico on Friday afternoon, falling three sets to none, before taking on both the University of California Riverside and home team California State University, Fullerton. 

Before hosting their inaugural home game on Friday, Sept. 17 against St. Francis Brooklyn, the Rams will head to the Delaware Invitational for the first weekend of September and the Kaiser Classic at St. John’s University in the second week of September. 

Atlantic 10 play begins on Sept. 24, with a stretch of three road games against Virginia Commonwealth University, Davidson College and Saint Louis University before hosting George Washington University and George Mason University at home. The Rams went 5-3 in conference play last season and are hoping to make it to the playoffs for the second year in a row this fall, after being voted to finish fourth in the A-10 Coaches’ Poll. 

They will feel the loss of fifth-year graduate student McKenna Lahr, who finished her career 10th in total attacks, and eighth in career digs per set at 2.78. They also lost libero Alena Cashdan and setter Sophia Plett, both dynamic contributors to the team.

On the other hand, the squad welcomes four freshmen: outside hitter Lauryn Sweeney, middle blocker Audrey Hayes and two liberos in Ryan Naumann and Megan Kinney. 

The first-years and the 12 returners swept through their scrimmage against Fairleigh Dickinson University last week, playing and winning all five sets. 

Rookie of the Year outside hitter Whitley Moody is excited to be back on the court for her sophomore year, especially in her home state of California. 

The San Jose native had this to say about the opening tournament: “We’re incredibly excited to be in California this weekend to open our preseason. A ton of our players are from here, so we’re starting off the season in an amazing and supportive environment with our friends and families. Our preseason training has been going very well and we are hoping to be more competitive this season than we ever have been before. The A-10 voted us into the top four for the first time in program history, so we can’t wait to see how this season goes!” 

Fordham Volleyball is hardworking and steadily improving, and this weekend is only the beginning of an incredible season ahead.