HAMDEN, Conn. – The Bobcats lit up the scoreboard and had Burt Kahn Court rocking on Sunday afternoon as they claimed their first Northeast Conference victory, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 30-28), over St. Francis (N.Y.). Quinnipiac junior Bonnie Conklin (Plano, Texas) factored heavily in the win with a career-high 13 kills while the Bobcat's team hitting percentage of .382 is a season-best. The victory snaps a 15-game winless streak for Quinnipiac as they move to 2-21 (1-13 NEC) while the Terrier's loss brings them to 2-27 (2-12 NEC).
As a team, the Bobcats came out and took the first set to set the tone for the afternoon. The tandem of Conklin and sophomore Tierra Allen (Sumter, S.C.) carried the Bobcats through the early action. Conklin posted four kills and chipped in a block while Allen's two service aces and three kills played a big role in seizing the momentum with a set victory, 25-20. This match marked the second time this season that the Bobcats have claimed the first set victory.
The second set was closer than the score appeared as both teams went back-and-forth at times but the pairing of Conklin and Allen again proved vital in the success. Conklin recorded another three kills while Allen contributed four to go along with three digs and another service ace. Sophomore Brittanie Robinson (Fresno, Calif.) played big as well, posting four digs and two service aces to help build the lead and push across a 25-19 set victory.
The Bobcats proved they could finish the victory and earn their first sweep of a match since Oct. 23, 2011 when they defeated St. Francis (N.Y.). on the road. The Bobcats held a three-point lead at 23-20 late in the set but the Terries clawed back and force the stanza into extra points. With every pass, the Bobcats pulled out clutch points to stave off three set points, and eventually come away with a 30-28 victory to seal their first NEC win of the season. Conklin was huge once again with six kills in the deciding set while freshman Chandler Thornton (Arlington, Texas) and sophomore Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.) combined for nine kills and seven digs in the final set.
When senior Brittany Garrett's (Ossining, N.Y.) serve fell in for an ace on the last point of the match, all her teammates swarmed the court and sent the stands into complete jubilation with the team's victory.
Allen finished the match with 10 kills and eight digs for her first double-digit kill performance of the season. Thornton finished with nine kills and eight digs for a near double-double while Celestin chipped in with eight kills and 10 digs. Robinson was dominant once again from the setter position with 34 assists, six digs, and two blocks. The assist total is by far the most for her in a three-set match this season, besting her previous season-high of 27.
Quinnipiac will look to ride the momentum into the final weekend of the season as they travel to Fairfield, Conn. to take on Sacred Heart on Saturday and are home for Senior Day on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Central Connecticut State.
Contact: Maxx McNall; firstname.lastname@example.org