Women's Volleyball Gives NEC's First-Place LIU Brooklyn a Battle; Fall 3-0

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HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team fell to the Northeast Conference's first-place LIU Brooklyn on Sunday, 3-0 (25-10, 25-22, 25-20), at Burt Kahn Court. Freshman Chandler Thornton (Arlington, Texas) continued her hot streak with another 11 kills on the afternoon but it wasn't enough as the Bobcats fall to 1-18 (0-10 NEC) while the Black Birds win their 11th-straight match and remain undefeated in conference play at 17-7 overall (10-0 NEC).

Despite the straight-set defeat, the Bobcats hung in with LIU Brooklyn in each set and made it tough on the Black Birds. In the first set, Quinnipiac hung on to a two-point deficit throughout the opening stages of the set before the Black Birds went on a 17-4 run to close out the victory. Thornton recorded one kill in the opening set and freshman Melissa Dal Pozzo (Reading, Mass.) put away a kill to keep the score close at 7-5 but then LIU Brooklyn took command and won the first set going away.

Quinnipiac showed some fight in the second set as they gave the Black Birds everything they could handle in the stanza. LIU Brooklyn built a 7-2 lead early and appeared ready to run away with the set but the Bobcats won six of the next seven points including a pair of Thornton kills to tie the score at 8-8. With LIU Brooklyn back in command at 13-10, the Bobcats stormed back with five consecutive points to take a lead late in the second set. Sophomore Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.) notched a kill to give Quinnipiac the lead at 14-13 and Dal Pozzo followed with a service ace to give them a two-point lead. Quinnipiac held off LIU Brooklyn as far as 17-16, but the Black Birds fought back and took eight of the next 10 points. Facing set-point at 24-19, Thornton refused to let her team down and recorded a couple kills to go along with a service ace to stave off three game-deciding points before LIU Brooklyn claimed the win at 25-22.

The third set again showed Quinnipiac's fight as they challenged the Black Birds, never trailing more than four points in the set. The match was tied at 6-6 after Dal Pozzo tallied her second kill of the match and Thornton factored heavily with six of her 11 kills coming in the final set. Celestin also chipped in five kills in the set as the pair factored in 11 of the 14 Bobcat put-aways in the final stanza. LIU Brooklyn would end the set on a 4-1 run and claimed the 25-20 victory.

Thornton combined with Celestin (eight kills) for 19 of the team's 30 kills on the afternoon. Sophomore Brittanie Robinson (Fresno, Calif.) chipped in with 22 assists, four digs, and three blocks. Dal Pozzo had a game-high four blocks with three digs. Junior libero Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) also continued her recent tear with 12 digs to give her 11 double-digit dig outings and in six of her past eight matches.

The Black Birds featured a massive individual outing from Annika Foit who recorded 20 kills on 35 attempts for a .571 hitting percentage. Vera Djuric contributed a double-double with 32 assists and 11 digs. As a team, the Black Birds totaled 47 kills on 109 attempts for a .330 hitting percentage.

The Bobcats will resume action on the road next weekend as they travel down to Pennsylvania to play St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday and Robert Morris on Sunday with each match beginning at 1 p.m.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu