How it Happened
Rhode Island celebrated Senior Night with a 3-2 victory over Fordham in the regular-season finale Friday at Keaney Gym. Rhody and Fordham were battling for a spot in next week's Atlantic 10 Championship as the winner of the match would be the sixth and final team to qualify for the conference tournament.
Rhode Island (11-15, 6-8 A-10) and Fordham kept it close throughout much of the first set. With the score tied at 16-16, URI used a 9-3 run to close things out and grab the early 1-0 advantage.
Fordham (12-15, 4-10 A-10) jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the second set and led by as many as six after an Olivia LaPorta kill put the visiting Rams on top 21-15. Trailing 24-20, URI scored three straight points to trim the deficit to one, but another kill by LaPorta gave Fordham the 25-23 win and evened things up at one apiece.
Rhody returned from the break and put together its most dominant set of the night, defeating Fordham 25-16 in the third. There, URI converted 70 percent (12-17) of its sideout opportunities and combined for a .323 hitting percentage.
Fordham charged back once again however, this time leveling the score at 2-2 thanks to a 25-22 win in the fourth set.
With their respective seasons on the line, Rhode Island and Fordham needed a decisive fifth set to determine which team would qualify for the A-10 Championship. It was a back-and-forth battle with the score being tied at 1-1, 2-2, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8 and 9-9 before URI used a Jessie Blaze service ace and kills by Jenna McGuire, Rachel Lynne Cox and Kylee Wolfe to pull ahead 13-9. Fordham grabbed the next two points, but Cox and Wolfe sealed the 15-11 win with back-to-back kills to end the match.
Inside the Box Score
- Senior Marie Gillcrist was one of four Rams to finish with double-digit kills as she recorded 15 on the night. She also added nine blocks, including one solo.
- Senior Kylee Wolfe finished with 14 kills, eight digs and three block assists. She also matched her career-high with five service aces on the night.
- Senior Rachel Lynne Cox recorded 12 kills, four digs and a pair of blocks for the Rams.
- Freshman Live Lunde Fossdal and junior Lauren Pick both double-doubled. Lunde Fossdal had 10 kills, 10 digs, two blocks and two assists. Pick registered 50 assists and 13 digs while also adding one block and one ace.
- Sophomore Jenna McGuire recorded eight kills and two block assists.
- Senior Jessie Blaze (16) and junior Olivia Budinich (14) combined for 30 of Rhody's 67 digs on the night.
Stat of the Match
- 22 - Rhode Island has now had 22 double-doubles this season. Pick leads the team with 12, followed by Lunde Fossdal (5), Wolfe (3) and Cox (2).
Rhode Island returns to action at next week's Atlantic 10 Championship. Pairings for the tournament will be announced following the conclusion of league play on Sunday.