The month of October has not been too kind to Rhode Island Volleyball this season, as they have lost all six of their matches this month.
Their weekend matchup against Fordham provided an opportunity to make amends and end the month on the right note. Both teams had been struggling so far this season, and winning this game would provide a much-needed morale boost.
Rhode Island, heading into the game was 6-13, with a 1-6 record in the Atlantic 10 and on a six-game losing streak. In those six games, Rhody dropped a total of 18 sets and had only won three. Their last win came to Fordham by a score of three to two on Sept. 28.
Fordham was 7-12, and 0-7 in the A-10 with a nine-game losing streak. During the losing streak, the Rams only won nine sets. Their last win came on Sept. 18 when they defeated Manhattan on the road three sets to two.
Despite the streak, Rams volleyball Head Coach Steve Santonastaso emphasized the importance of working hard and creating good habits.
“[My message has been] to keep battling, to keep churning, to keep working hard. You never know when all your hard work is going to turn into a winning streak.”
In the last matchup on Sept. 28 between the two teams, the Rams were able to prevail in the final set after both teams exchanged wins in the first four sets. The Rhody defense recorded 106 digs in the game, eight shy of the program record.
This time around, Fordham avenged their loss with a three sets to zero victory against the Rams.
The two teams battled in the first set, exchanging the lead five times. Late in the first set, Rhode Island led Fordham 21-20, the two ended up in a 23-23 tie in the first set and Fordham rattled off two points to take the first set.
Rhody jumped out to an early 16-6 lead in the second set, but Fordham rallied back to cut the deficit to 16-12. With a 21-19 Rhody lead, Fordham rallied off a 6-0 run to take the second set.
In the third set, Rhody came out to a quick 4-1 lead, but Fordham climbed back and eventually took the third and final set.
“[The game] was a little streaky,” said Santonastaso on his team’s performance this weekend. “We played pretty well, maybe as clean and as well as we have played all season. We had some stretches where we played really well and then there were times when they [Fordham] played really well and we weren’t able to react to it.”
Sophomore Gabrielle Shilling led Rhody with eight kills, sophomore Ella Ratzloff led Rhody in digs with 17 and freshmen Adel Gage was responsible for 13 assists. Junior Annie Ell nearly recorded a double-double with 16 assists and nine digs.
For the Fordham Rams, senior Kaitlyn Morley and redshirt junior Olivia Fairchild led the team with nine kills apiece. Freshman Megan Brzozowkski led the team with 21 assists and sophomore Makaela Tanaka recorded a double-double with 13 assists and 10 digs.
The Rhody Rams are back in action on Friday and Saturday in Keaney Gymnasium when they face LaSalle and Duquesne at home. Both games begin at 7 p.m.