- VCU def. Fordham 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 28-26)
- VCU moves to 22-2, 8-0 Atlantic-10; Fordham falls to 11-11, 3-6 A-10
- Bronx, New York
- Attendance: 1776
- Box Score
BRONX, N.Y. – A balanced attack including four players with double-digit kill tallies lifted VCU to a sweep of Fordham on Friday, keeping the Rams perfect at 8-0 in Atlantic 10 play.
Senior outside hitter Alica Kandler (11), sophomore outside Vicky Giommarini (11), junior middle blocker Tori Baldwin (10) and sophomore opposite Gina Tuzzolo (10) made up the group. Baldwin hit at a team-best .750 clip with just one error in 12 swings to go with a team-high four blocks. All four players hit .269 or better. Senior libero Rebekah Strange notched a team-leading nine digs followed by sophomore setter Tyler Sroufe (7) and Giammarini (6). Strange also served up three of the team’s six aces.
Sophomore right side Olivia Fairchild and freshman outside McKenna Lahr paced Fordham with 10 kills apiece. Lahr hit at a .409 clip, while Fairchild rounded out a double-double with a team-leading 10 digs. Sophomore outside Kaitlin Morley (8) and junior middle Olivia Laporta (7) also aided the offense. Morley also served up two aces. Sophomore libero Morgan Williams (9) and Lahr (7) followed Fairchild in the backcourt.
Both teams hit over .300 for the match, with VCU edging Fordham .352 to .309. VCU also topped its foes 50-43 in kills, 7-3 in blocks and 6-3 in aces.
VCU hit .483 in the opening set, which featured nine ties, last at 11-all. VCU scored nine of the next 14 to go up by four at 20-16 on a stuff by Julia Adler and Baldwin. Four players tallied kills in the run, while Strange notched an ace. Baldwin, Giommarini, Tuzzolo and Kandler turned in kills down the final stretch for VCU.
The teams played to a 10-all tie before VCU surged ahead with an 8-3 run. Giommarini downed two kills an an ace as the Rams went up 18-13. Fordham cut the margin to three at 22-19 as five players turned in kills. A Fairchild ace thwarted VCU’s first match-point try at 24-20, but committed a service error to wrap up the set.
Fordham scored four of the first six points in Set 3 with help from a kill and a block by Laporta. VCU turned the tables with a 7-1 run, including two blocks and a kill by Jasmin Sneed. Fordham chipped away, eventually tying it up at 13 on a Fairchild putaway and taking a brief 16-15 lead on a stuff by Maddy Walsh and Elise Benjamin. VCU scored four of the next five to go up 19-17 as Giommarini registered a kill and a block. The teams tied at 20 and traded points over the next six serves. A Lahr kill gave Fordham the first set point try at 24-23, but a service error and a stuff by Baldwin and Adler made it 25-24 VCU. Fordham stopped that attempt and one more at 26-25 with kills by Morley and Lahr, but couldn’t hold off the final two putaways by Giommarini and Kandler, which clinched the 28-26 VCU victory.
Courtesy: VCU Athletics
The short story: Junior middle blocker Tori Baldwin led four VCU players with double-digit kills as the Black and Gold cruised past Fordham in an offensive-minded contest. With the victory, VCU extended its win streak to 19 matches, the nation’s longest active streak.
- Baldwin blasted 10 kills and hit .750 in the match. She also added four blocks on the defensive end.
- Senior Alica Kandler and sophomore Vicky Giommarini led all players with 11 kills apiece for VCU. They hit .345 and .269, respectively.
- Junior Julia Adler also got into the act offensively for VCU. She supplied seven kills on 11 swings and did not commit an error
- VCU committed just 13 hitting errors on the day.
- Senior libero Rebekah Strange dug nine balls and fired three more service aces.
- Oliva Fairchild and McKenna Lahr provided 10 kills each for Fordham.
- VCU hit .352 in the match, including .483 and .344 in the first and second sets, respectively.
- The Black and Gold weathered Fordham’s biggest threat in the third set. In a back-and-forth affair, Fordham pushed ahead 24-23 on a Lahr kill, but VCU would fight off set point and eventually prevailed on back-to-back kills by Giommarini and Kandler in a 28-26 win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- VCU has swept all eight of its conference matches.
- VCU swept the season series with Fordham and improved to 6-3 all-time versus the Bronx Rams.
- The Black and Gold hit better than .300 in both meetings with Fordham this season.
- VCU has hit better than .300 in three of its past four matches.
- VCU will head to Kingston, R.I. to meet Rhode Island on Sunday, Oct. 22 at noon.
Courtesy: Fordham Athletics
In front of a packed house at Rose Hill Gymnasium, a Fordham volleyball program record of 1,776 during the team’s annual Field Trip Day featuring local school children, friends, and family, the Rams fell to visiting VCU, the Atlantic 10 leaders, in straight sets. VCU improves to 22-2 overall and 8-0 in league action, while Fordham falls to 11-11 and 3-6, respectively.
“We would like to thank all the local schools for their support today as we competed against a very strong VCU team,” Head coach Gini Ullery-Shrift said, “To be able to play in front of nearly 1,800 fans is a great experience for our athletes and the game of volleyball.”
The Rams battled their counterparts tough in all three sets, falling, 25-21, in both the first and second sets, before VCU grinded out a 28-26 third set victory to seal the match. Both teams hit over .300, with Fordham at .309 and VCU at .352. VCU tallied kill numbers of 17, 14, and 19 in the three frames to Fordham’s 13, 14, and 16, respectively. It’s the fifth-highest percentage for Fordham this year and first above .300 since .443 against St. Francis Brooklyn at Columbia on September 16. The team’s 43 kills are also tied for second-most this campaign.
Both Olivia Fairchild and McKenna led the way for Fordham with 10 kills apiece, while the former double-doubled with a team-high 10 digs, as well, compared to Lahr’s seven. Kaitlin Morley was next with eight kills and a team-high two aces, coming on back-to-back points in the opening set, while Olivia LaPortatallied seven kills on just nine attacks (.667). Elise Benjamin chipped in five kills and a team-high two blocks.
Fairchild notched one ace to move into sole possession of 10th with 110 career aces. She is two away from passing Tasha Johnston and Marija Markovic for eighth all-time.
Fordham host Davidson on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. It is the program’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness match and fans are encouraged to show their support by wearing pink. Fans will also have time before the match and during the first set for last-minute entries into raffles and silent auctions for terrific prizes. There is also still time to help the program reach their goal of $2,000 in support of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Research. To donate, click here.
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