SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team fell to Houston and Southern Methodist in the Bobcats' season opener from the Delta Zeta Texas State Classic on Friday. Both matches ended in 3-0 decisions as the Cougars (25-8, 25-18, 25-18) and Mustangs (25-15, 25-10, 25-14) both swept the Bobcats. Quinnipiac drops to 0-2 to start the 2013 season while Houston and SMU both begin the year 1-0.
In their first career matches with the Bobcats, freshmen middle hitter Allison Leigh (Palmer, Alaska) and setter Emma Ogden (Crown Point, Ind.) both played well despite the loss. Leigh posted two kills and two block assists in the first match against Houston and went for six kills and four total blocks (two solo, two assists) in the nightcap against SMU for a team-high 13 points on Friday. Ogden distributed the ball well and showed great all-around ability in her first appearance as the team's main setter. In the first match, she recorded 12 assists, seven digs, two blocks, one kill and one service ace and followed with 11 assists, two service aces, one block and one kill. Senior libero Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) totaled 14 digs throughout the two matches to creep her ever closer to move her up to 1,092 for her career, eight shy of 1,100.
Playing for the first time ever in Texas, the Bobcats kicked off their 2013 season against a pair of opponents from the newly-formed American Athletic Conference, Houston and SMU. The first match pitted the Bobcats against the Cougars and the first set was off to an encouraging pace for Quinnipiac as they trailed 6-5 in the early going. Houston then took a convincing lead after a scorching 14-0 run ultimately paved the way for a 25-8 first set victory.
The second and third sets were much closer battles as the Bobcats fell by only seven points in each of the final two sets. A 12-5 run to start the second set for the Cougars was all they needed but the Bobcats did battle back as Leigh began to impose her will with two kills and a service ace to keep her team within striking distance. Another early run doomed the Bobcats in the third set as Houston took a commanding 18-9 lead but the Bobcats did win eight of the 15 remaining points to salvage a close 25-18 defeat. Junior Brittanie Robinson (Fresno, Calif.) and Jamie Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) each had two kills in the final set.
In the afternoon match against SMU, the Bobcats started off strong in the first set as the score was tied through 4-4 but seven straight points for the Mustangs put the score out of reach. Some balanced offense closed the gap to 13-8 but that was the closest the Bobcats would get for the remainder of the opening set, falling 25-15.
The Mustangs rattled off four different runs where they scored at least three consecutive points in the second set on their way to a 25-10 win. Sophomore Chandler Thornton (Arlington, Texas) was doing her best to keep the team in the game as she notched two kills to lead the team.
The Bobcats' fortunes changed in the third set as the team traded points in the early stages and held an 11-10 lead nearly halfway through. Ogden (four assists, two service aces, one kill) combined with Leigh (four kills) to steal the show and seize some momentum as the freshmen pair led the way for the Bobcats. The Mustangs however, weren't finished as they finished up the third set with a 15-3 run and claimed the victory.
Day two of the Delta Zeta Texas State Classic will begin at 12:00 pm for the Bobcats as they take on host Texas State followed by Lamar at 4:30 pm to complete their four-game set. All-Tournament teams will be announced following the conclusion of the final match.
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