Volleyball Wins Final Game of the Season, Just Misses Playoffs


The Fordham volleyball team banded together to win their final game of the 2012 season on Senior Day. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)


The Fordham volleyball team banded together to win their final game of the 2012 season on Senior Day. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

On Saturday, Fordham’s volleyball team ended their season on a high note at home, winning a five-set battle against the University of Rhode Island’s Rams 3-2. The final set scores of the match were 15-25, 22-25, 25-13, 25-10 and 15-13. It was the second time this season that Fordham beat Rhode Island.

The first two sets of the match were dominated by Rhode Island. After being tied for a brief moment in the first set at 7-7, Rhode Island took off and scored 17 points to Fordham’s eight. The second set, like the first, showed Rhode Island taking advantage of Fordham’s negative hitting percentages to win. But things turned around for Fordham in the third set. The hometeam Rams led by 12 points at one point in the third set and easily won it 25-13. In the fourth set, Fordham never allowed Rhode Island to score a point on a serve. The Rams had a perfect side-out percentage, and at one point, had a 15-point lead over Rhode Island. The two teams went at it during the fifth set, both wanting the 3-2 win over the other. They were tied 11-11 and then traded side-outs until Brianna O’Neil, Fordham College at Rose Hill, FCRH ’16, got matchpoint on a kill. What looked like a Rhode Island win early on transformed into a hard-fought win by Fordham.

The season started out rough for the Rams, as seven out of their first 10 games ended in a loss. However, from early September to early October, Fordham was playing their best volleyball of the year. The team battled through 15 games and won 10 of them. On Oct. 6, the Rams’ record made the .500 mark, 12-12, for the first time of the season as they beat Rhode Island in four sets. The win even gave Fordham a 4-1 start in the Atlantic 10 Conference, the best ever start in the school’s history. Since the Oct. 6 game against Rhode Island, Fordham hit another rough patch, this time winning just two out of their last nine games of the year.

Despite a slew of losses, Fordham’s offense did have their days where they impressed. The team showed themselves to be particularly resilient during a five-set match against the La Salle University Explorers on Oct. 20. The Rams won the first set, hitting .486 as a team, and committed just one error. The second set saw an early on 10-1 lead by the Explorers, who won the set by a seven-point difference. Tied 22-22 during the third set, the Explorers kicked it into gear and got two kills and a service ace to win the set by three, 25-22. However, Fordham came back in set four. After leading 14-12, Fordham gained momentum and ended up winning the set 25-20. The tiebreaker, also known as the fifth set, saw seven tie scores, all coming after the tied score of 12-12. After scoring 21-19, Fordham’s Ewing and Lindsay Ritchie, FCRH ’15, blocked the Explorers final attack to win the final set, 21-19.

On the year, Ewing and Lisa Hipp are among the team’s top scorers and most consistent players. For the season, Hipp has over 400 kills, as well as making 300 defensive digs. Ewing has 528 career kills at Fordham, as well as 329 career blocks, good for the third highest in school history, surpassing former Rams’ player Katie Wells’ total of 323 blocks in 2009. Ewing was named Atlantic 10 Volleyball Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 22, for the second time of her career. During her senior season, Ewing also leads the Rams in hitting percentage.

Before Saturday’s match against Rhode Island, Ewing, along with teammate Michele Keathley, FCRH ’13, were honored for their careers at Fordham during Senior Day. Keathley, a defensive specialist, played three seasons with the Rams. She appeared in 78 career matches and has been a serving specialist, a defensive specialist and a libero. Keathley has a 398 career digs, along with 37 assists, and 17 service aces.

Fordham’s season comes to an end with a 14-19 overall record and a record of 6-8 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, just out of playoff contention. As Keathley and Ewing move on from Fordham, the rest of the team will have to begin looking forward to making next season a more successful one.