Photo by Autumn Walter | Taken at the URI v. Army game, the women’s volleyball team is currently 6-7 for the season.
The University of Rhode Island women’s volleyball team suffered a 3-2 loss to Fordham University in a back-and-forth affair that, for both teams, opened Atlantic 10 conference play.
URI fell into an early hole, going a set down after scoring only 13 points in the first set. Rhody clawed their way to within 5 points midway through the set to make it 18-13, only for Fordham to score the next seven points. It finished 25-13 in favor of the Fordham Rams.
Any momentum that was earned from the first set evaporated for the home team, as Rhode Island dominated the next set. Specifically, sophomore Claire Chaplinsky took over, recording seven kills that gave her team a spark.
Upon reflection, Chaplinsky said, “Coming into the set it was really my goal to help the team by putting down more points and helping in any way that I could.” They went on a 10-2 run during the set, and we able to earn the 25-16 victory.
Rhode Island came out of the third set holding an overall 2-1 lead after securing a 25-20 victory. Chaplinsky recorded both of her aces for the game in this set, increasing her total tally to three on the season. About those point-earning serves, she said, “That’s been something that I’ve been working on for a long time so it was good to get that down.”
Fordham battled back in the fourth set to tie up the match. The Fordham Rams took a 7-6 lead at one point and ran with it. They were the first team to 25 points, holding URI to only 17 points in the set.
It was all to play for in the fifth as both teams looked to open up conference play with the win. Rhody raced out to a 9-5 lead, putting them in a great position to record their seventh win of the season. They could not maintain the lead, as Fordham recorded 10 of the remaining 11 points to win the fifth set 15-10.
For the game, Rhody finished the match with a total of 70 kills. A whopping four players recorded double-digit digs. Olivia Budinich led the team with 16, and the aforementioned Chaplinsky recorded 15 of her own. Lauren Pick had 14 digs and Natalie Zanellato rounded up the double-digit dig club with 11.
The Rams come back home this weekend in search of their first conference wins of the season. Head Coach Steve Santonastaso is excited for the weekend games, saying, “Time on the court, competing, is something that we are trying to maximize and that’s what every weekend brings us.” They play La Salle on Friday night and are back in Keaney Gym to play against Duquesne on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m.