Volleyball Gets Back On Track in Atlantic 10 Play

Junior Whitley Moody led the Rams to a comeback 5-set victory over VCU on Friday from Rose Hill Gym. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Junior Whitley Moody led the Rams to a comeback 5-set victory over VCU on Friday from Rose Hill Gym. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

After getting off on the wrong foot to begin conference play, Fordham Volleyball turned things around this week by collecting their first two Atlantic 10 wins of 2022. Last Wednesday, head coach Ian Choi’s group traveled 147 miles northeast to Kingston, R.I. before returning home for a two-game weekend set with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). The Rams were in a tough spot heading into last week, with four straight losses in conference play and the two most recent being road sweeps at Loyola Chicago. But after making the three hour journey to Kingston via sprinter van, the Rams showed some true resilience by rolling the University of Rhode Island in three sets. All three were tight as Rhode Island fought for at least 20 points in each of them, but in the end, Fordham stayed poised while securing the sweep. 

The solid performance in Rhode Island gave the Rams a serious confidence boost. Not only was this Fordham’s first conference win of the year, but it was also the first taste of winning a pivotal match for the very impactful class of freshmen, including Audrey Brown, Zoe Talabong and Mackenzie Colvin. For the veterans of this team, Wednesday’s victory was nothing new. But for the newcomers, it was an opportunity to prove to themselves that they can compete at this level, and they thoroughly capitalized. 

Following their successful trip up north, the Rams prepared for a two-game set from Rose Hill vs. an A-10 opponent who swept Fordham in their two regular season matchups last season: the VCU Rams. In the opening matchup, Fordham grabbed the first set before dropping sets two and three in demoralizing fashion. Then to begin the fourth, VCU rattled off a 14-8 run,  dominating the action and putting the finish line in range. But right when Fordham looked down and out, Brown went on a five-kill run of her own to knot the set up at 16. From that point forward, the overpowering combination of junior Whitley Moody and the aforementioned Brown would put on a show and secure the match in five sets. 

The five setter was clearly an emotional grind, but the Rams are certainly no stranger to going the distance. In Fordham’s eighteen matches so far this year, six have gone to a decisive fifth set, of which the Rams have won three. 

Following Friday’s momentous come from behind victory, the pair of competing Ram squads were back in action less than 24 hours later. To begin Saturday evening’s matchup on Rose Hill, Fordham was red hot, taking the first set handily at 25-17 and the second set in overtime, 27-25. But VCU had a comeback in store as well, as they would go on to take the next three sets and the match in a manner equally as dazzling as Fordham’s the previous day. Dropping a conference match after being up two sets to nil is about as heartbreaking as it gets in Division 1 volleyball, but Fordham surely gained a lot from this weekend’s fierce competition. Budding stars got great in-conference experience, and picking up their first A-10 win of the season certainly lifted a weight off the Rams’ shoulders.  

With a couple of A-10 victories finally under their belt, the Rams will now spend the next few weeks on the road. First up will be Washington, D.C. for a showdown with Georgetown University this weekend before another trip south to North Carolina, taking on the Davidson College Wildcats.