Women's Volleyball Outlasted By Central Connecticut, 3-2, In NEC Thriller

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HAMDEN, Conn. – Junior Taylor Payne (Warwick, N.Y.) and sophomore Olivia Grattan (Pittsburgh, Pa.) led the Bobcats with 11 kills each on Sunday afternoon; however the Quinnipiac University women's volleyball team could not hold off a late charge by Central Connecticut State University. The Blue Devils rallied off three consecutive victories en route to a, 3-2 (27-25, 27-25, 17-25, 15-25 and 12-15), victory at Burt Kahn Court.

"Today was a heartbreaking loss, but I am really pleased with the progress we are showing as a team," remarked Head Coach Robin Lamott Sparks. "CCSU is a strong program, and we had our chances to take the match.  The lessons we learned today will serve us well in the future."

In the first set of the match, Quinnipiac battled back from an early deficit and regained the lead late in the stanza. With the score knotted at 25-25, Payne and Grattan hammered back-to-back kills for the two-point triumph. The Bobcats recorded 15 kills and five errors on 40 total attempts for a solid .250 hitting percentage.

The second set featured a completely different story, as QU mustered a 7-1 advantage early on in the frame. The Bobcats held off a late charge from the visiting Blue Devils and captured the final two points on tallies from freshmen Brittanie Robinson (Fresno, Calif.) and Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.). Quinnipiac matched the first set with 15 kills on 50 total attacks, with Payne registering four kills in the game.

After the 10-minute intermission, CCSU battled back strong with two convincing wins in the third and fourth sets. The Blue Devils combined for 24 kills and a .173 hitting percentage, forcing a fifth and deciding game.

In the final game of the match, the visiting Blue Devils jumped out to an early 5-1 lead. The two teams exchanged points, as the Bobcats frantically attempted to chip away at their deficit. Unfortunately, CCSU was able to trade off points until the score reached 14-12. The Blue Devils then claimed the last point of the match for their eighth conference win of the season to remain in fourth place in the NEC standings.

Payne and Grattan combined for 22 kills, eight digs and 3.5 blocks on the afternoon. Freshman Tierra Allen (Sumter, S.C.) nearly collected a double-double with nine kills and 10 digs, while fellow classmate Robinson chimed in with seven kills and seven digs. Senior Kelby Carey (Surfside, Calif.) added seven kills, senior Kayla Lawler (Louisville, Ky.) dished out 40 assists and sophomore Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) tallied a match-high 30 digs.

Quinnipiac returns to the hardwood on Friday, November 4, to take on Sacred Heart at Burt Kahn Court. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

Contact: Anthony Distasio; Ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu