LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bobcats used inspired efforts up-and-down the roster on Friday night as the women's volleyball squad prevailed over Providence 3-2 (15-25, 25-20, 25-21, 22-25, 15-12) at the Bucknell Invitational, for their first win of the season. Sophomore setter Brittanie Robinson (Fresno, Calif.), playing in her second career game as the team's primary facilitator, had a standout night with a double-double of 37 assists and 13 digs to go along with four blocks. Sophomore right side Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.) played big for Quinnipiac down the stretch and senior middle hitter Taylor Payne (Warwick, N.Y.) closed the match with a pair of block assists and two kills, including the match-winner late in the fifth set. The win moves Quinnipiac to 1-6 on the season while Providence falls to 1-14.
The match was tied for much of the early parts of the first set as the score reached 8-8. Then the Friars reeled off a 11-3 run that vaulted them to a 19-11 lead and would later close the opening set with a 25-15 win.
The second set began much like the first as the two teams traded runs to get to 8-8 and then the Bobcats took control with an 8-3 run to make it 16-11. The Friars closed the deficit to two points at 19-17 before Quinnipiac won five of the next six points in which freshman outside hitter Chandler Thornton (Arlington, Texas) recorded a pair of kills to help close out the Bobcat's first set win of the season with a 25-20 victory. Robinson stood out in the second, compiling eight assists and recorded two block assists as well.
The Bobcats came out of the break on fire behind the serving of freshman middle hitter Melissa Dal Pozzo (Reading, Mass.). She tallied a pair of serving aces and with momentum on their side Quinnipiac jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in the third set. The deficit remained at six with the score of 14-8 before the Friars closed the gap to one point at 16-15. Three consecutive points including a kill and service ace from Thornton gained back the momentum for Quinnipiac and another Thornton kill put an end to the third set with the Bobcats victorious, 25-21. Robinson again played a huge role, totaling 10 assists in the third set alone.
The Friars would seize the fourth set but not without a fight from the Bobcats and the sensational play of Thornton, Celestin, and Robinson. The pair of outside hitters combined for 14 kills in the set and Robinson chipped in with her most assists in a set on the evening with 13. The Friars jumped out to an early advantage but with the score at 10-7 in favor of the Friars, Celestin subbed into the Quinnipiac lineup and kept the Bobcats within reach of Providence. With the score at 18-14, Celestin took over for the Bobcats as she recorded a kill in all seven of the Bobcat's final points of the set. Despite Celestin's incredible streak the Friars withheld the run and were 25-22 winners.
The final set was dominated by Payne and the Bobcats. She tallied a block assist in the first point of the set and Robinson chipped in another block assist to tie the score at five. With the Bobcats hope for victory in jeopardy at 11-9 in favor of Providence, Quinnipiac reeled off five consecutive points behind Payne's block assists and a kill to give the Bobcats a 12-11 lead. Payne then closed the door with another kill and Robinson's 37th assist on the night for an emphatic Bobcat victory.
Numerous Bobcats had career days against Providence highlighted by Robinson's performance. Celestin finished with 11 kills, her most in a match this season, in just three sets played. Payne (10 kills, 11 digs, six total blocks) and Thornton (team-high 13 kills and 13 digs) both finished with double-doubles for Quinnipiac. Dal Pozzo recorded team-highs with three service aces and seven total blocks. Senior middle hitter Bonnie Conklin (Plano, Texas) also had a career-high 10 kills and junior libero Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) had her most digs in a game all season with 20.
Quinnipaic returns to action on Saturday at the Bucknell Invitational with a pair of matches starting with Fordham at 3 p.m. and the hosting Bison at 5 p.m.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com