Young Volleyball Team Struggles in Classic

Despite Loss, Team Members Set New Highs in Kills and Attempts


Published: September 27, 2007

Jenna Hart, FCRH ’11, serves up an ace against Seton Hall on Sept. 14. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham Rams volleyball team opened the Rose Hill Classic with a four-game loss (1-3) to the Seton Hall Pirates on Sept. 14, dropping them to a record of 6-8.

The loss was a result of missed opportunities for the Rams. The team’s  hitting percentage fell below .300 for the match.  It was also directly related to the fact that they could not stop Seton Hall middle blocker Tricia Meyers, who led her team in kills and kill percentage for the match.

Playing to a crowd of about 50 people, which included parents, students and fellow student-athletes, the first game set the tone for the rest of the match. The Rams opened the match very relaxed, despite committing numerous errors. The team hit for .175 percent with seven hitting errors on 14 kills and 40 total attempts. Despite this, Fordham managed to outlast Seton Hall, winning 30-25 and holding the Pirates to 12 kills with 12 errors on 46 attempts.

Game two would prove to be the most exciting game of the match, as well as its turning point. The Rams jumped out to an early 6-3 lead with tough serving from Kailee May, FCRH ’11. This game would see 15 ties and six lead changes, with Fordham trailing for most of the game. Trailing 29-26 at game point, Jolanda Gunning-Snowden, CBA ’10, sparked a comeback with a kill. The Rams capitalized on the Pirates’ two hitting errors to hold them at game point and tie the game at 29-29, but hitting errors on the Rams’ own part would prevent them from taking the game, as they fell 33-31.

Although the Rams went on to lose the following two games, Katie Wells, FCRH ’11, would prove to be a highlight for her struggling team. For the match, Wells had 15 kills with only two errors in 27 attempts. Despite her low number of attempts, especially compared to May’s team-high of 49, Wells proved to be the most effective and efficient offensive player on the team, with a .481 hitting percentage. In recognition of her performance, Wells was nominated for an All-Tournament honor.

Expectations are high for the Rams, who just came off of a season where they earned their first birth to the Atlantic-10 postseason tournament. However, the team has had to deal with the departure of five seniors, four of whom received All-Conference honors.

“We don’t look like last year’s team,” head coach Peter Volkert said. “We are very young but also very talented…We want to make the playoffs again.”

Despite the fact that two-thirds of the starters graduated at the end of last year, the Rams have a talented group of freshmen including May, Wells and middle blocker Christi Griffiths, CBA ’11. Griffiths was named the Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Week for the week ending Sept. 3 as a result of her .377 kill percentage and an average of 3.90 kills per game. The six freshmen on the roster were the second-ranked recruiting class in the Atlantic-10.

“In the last two weeks, five of the six freshmen on the roster are playing,” Volkert said. “We are trying to find that right mix and it’s a challenge.”

In addition to this year’s newcomers, the Rams also boast setter Katherine Burrell, FCRH ’09, Gunning-Snowden, and Stephanie Frost, FCRH ’08.  Frost will likely end her career at Fordham as the all-time leader in digs, while Burrell is on pace to become the single-season leader in assists.

The Rams opened Atlantic-10 conference play at home on Friday, Sept. 21, against George Washington University and will face Xavier University on Sept. 28 and the University of Dayton on Sept. 29.