HAMDEN, Conn. - Kayla Lawler (Louisville, Ky.) set a new personal career high for a three-set match with 43 assists as the Quinnipiac University volleyball team swept the University of Hartford, 3-0, to close out the Quinnipiac Invitational Saturday night at the Burt Kahn Court. Including a 3-0 loss to Dartmouth earlier in the day, the Bobcats move to 1-8 on the season.
"It is always nice to get your first win of the season," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Robin Sparks. "We knew it was just a matter of time before everything started clicking. I was incredibly impressed with the poise and intensity we showed in the pressure situations. This match sets a great foundation for the rest of the season."
Stephanie Biediger (Houston, Texas) and Lawler were named to the Quinnipiac Invitational All-Tournament Team. Biediger finished the tournament with 25 kills and 34 digs in her first action in almost two years after returning from injury. Lawler had 110 assists and 22 digs in the three matches.
Olivia Grattan (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Stephanie Biediger (Houston, Texas) had 12 kills apiece to lead the Bobcats against the Hawks. Taylor Payne (Warwick, N.Y.) also added nine kills, while Kelby Carey (Surfside, Calif.) added eight kills and a team-high 14 digs. For the match, the Bobcats outhit Hartford by a .295 to .130 margin.
The Bobcats won all three sets by 27-25 margins. In the second set, Hartford took a 21-15 lead, before the Bobcats reeled off nine consecutive points on Amanda Armstrong's (Waukesha, Wis.) serve to force set point. But the Hawks won three straight points to pull even at 24-24. But after the teams exchanged points, Grattan and Payne smashed back-to-back kills to put the Bobcats on top, two sets to none.
Quinnipiac again surged ahead on Armstrong's serve in the third set. Trailing 19-17, the Bobcats scored five straight points with Armstrong serving to pull ahead, 22-19. After Hartford went back ahead, 25-24, Quinnipiac scored three straight points on a Hartford service error, a Grattan kill and a Biediger service ace to clinch the match.
Against Dartmouth, the Big Green took the match in straight sets, 25-20, 27-25, 25-17. Biediger had a team-high eight kills to go along with 16 digs. Carey had a team-high 19 digs and seven kills, while Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) added 12 digs. Grattan added a team-high five blocks.
The Bobcats raised money during Saturday's matches to benefit the Sarcoma Foundation of America.
Quinnipiac returns to action Friday, when they face Delaware State as part of the Lafayette Invitational in Easton, Pa. Friday's match is set to begin at 3 p.m. at the Allan P. Kirby Sports Center.
Invitational All-Tournament Team
Madeline Baird - Dartmouth
Annie Villanueva - Dartmouth
Michelle Cordell - Hartford
Kami Nethersole - Hartford
Stephanie Biediger - Quinnipiac
Kayla Lawler - Quinnipiac
Kassi Wirth - St. Peter's