Celestin, Thornton Lead The Way For Women's Volleyball In 3-0 Loss To Fairleigh Dickinson

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HAMDEN, Conn. – Sophomore Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.) and freshman Chandler Thornton (Arlington, Texas) combined for 15 kills on Saturday afternoon, but the Quinnipiac University women's volleyball team suffered a three-set loss  (25-18, 25-23, 25-9) to Fairleigh Dickinson at Burt Kahn Court on Mount Carmel Campus.

With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 1-16 overall, including their eighth loss within Northeast Conference competition. FDU improves to 8-14, 4-5 in the league.

Quinnipiac and Fairleigh Dickinson went toe-to-toe through much of the first set. However, with the scoreboard showing 13-13, FDU's offense began to click and allowed the visitors to pull away. The Knights used a 12-5 run over the next 17 serves en route to a 25-18 triumph in the opening frame. Behind Meaghan Wheeler's set-high six kills, FDU recorded 13 kills for a formidable .300 hitting percentage.

The Bobcats bounced back quickly in the second frame though, doubling up FDU through the first 12 points. Sophomore Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.) capped off the surge with her sixth kill of the afternoon, granting the Bobcats an 8-4 lead. However, little by little the Knights began to chip away and eventually tied the game up at 17 apiece. FDU followed with a mini-run, bringing the score to 22-20; where Chandler Thornton (Arlington, Texas) answered for the Bobcats. Thornton crushed back-to-back kills forcing FDU head coach Stacey Recanati into her second timeout of the set. Unfortunately, Fairleigh Dickinson collected three of the next four points, two kills off the right arm of Wheeler, for the 25-23 victory.

In the third and final set, FDU raced out to a 15-3 advantage and never looked back. The FDU surge was due in large part to nine Quinnipiac errors, which in return aided seven aces for the Knights. Fairleigh Dickinson sustained its double-digit lead throughout, and coasted to a 25-9 win and a three-set sweep.

The Bobcats were led by the underclassmen duo of Celestin and Thornton, who accounted for over 50 percent of the team's kills. Celestin hammered eight of them to go along with five digs and two aces, while Thornton recorded seven kills and four digs. Sophomore Tierra Allen (Sumter, S.C.) chipped in with five kills and seven digs and junior Bonnie Conklin (Plano, Texas) had five kills. Sophomore Brittanie Robinson (Fresno, Calif.) dished out 21 assists in the losing effort.

FDU was led by Wheeler who posted a match-high 15 kills on 30 attempts for a .333 hitting percentage. Allison Butler was credited with 28 assists and Deborah Hong anchored the back-row with 13 digs.

The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. Quinnipiac welcomes LIU Brooklyn to Burt Kahn Court for the backend of the weekend doubleheader.

Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2012 Quinnipiac Women's Volleyball Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.

Contact: Tony Distasio; ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu