EASTON, Pa. – For the second consecutive day, the Quinnipiac women's volleyball team showed significant signs of progress as they claimed a victory over Morgan St. in their final day at the Lehigh/Lafayette Crosstown Tournament on Saturday. Junior Brittanie Robinson (Fresno, Calif.) spearheaded the offensive effort with a career day against the Lady Bears to help the Bobcats claim a 3-1 (14-25, 25-16, 27-25, 25-21) victory. Quinnipiac also took on co-host Lafayette in the morning match and fell to the Leopards in straight sets, 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-16). The Bobcats' second victory in as many days moves their record to 2-8 while Morgan St. falls to 2-6 and Lafayette improves to 7-2.
Quinnipiac 3, Morgan St. 1 Recap
Robinson was an absolute force for the Bobcats all afternoon as she posted a career-high 12 kills while committing just one error. She also picked up her play defensively with 17 digs to finish with her fourth career double double. As a team, the Bobcats registered 74 digs against the Lady Bears, the most for Quinnipiac in a match since Oct. 30, 2011 (38 matches). The Bobcats also dominated on the service line as they compiled 14 aces compared to just three for Morgan St. The 14 service aces represented the most for the Bobcats as a team since Sept. 10, 2011 (56 matches).
Freshman Emma Ogden (Crown Point, Ind.) continued her strong play as the main setter going for her second double double of the season with 29 assists and 14 digs. Senior Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) and freshmen Katie Urycki (Chesterton, Ind.) each notched a team-high four service aces while freshman Allison Leigh (Palmer, Alaska) tallied six of the team's seven total blocks.
Quinnipiac's first set effort held up on the backs of junior Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.) who picked up three kills to keep her team close. With the score still close within one point at 15-14, Morgan St. commanded play for the remainder of the frame as they rattled off 10 consecutive points to earn the victory.
The second set was the most-dominate performance put on by the Bobcats in a single set all season. They came out firing and opened the frame on a 13-4 run with significant contributions from freshman Jamie Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) who two kills and two service aces to get the offense going. Riker then put together three consecutive service aces later in the set to widen the lead and Quinnipiac closed the set on a 4-0 run to win, 25-16, their largest margin of victory in a single set all season.
Another strong early start in the third proved to be the difference as they doubled the Lady Bears up early with a 14-7 run. Urycki loomed large early with three kills and an ace but Morgan St. wasn't going down easy as they slowly climbed back in and even took the lead at 25-24. Now faced with a match point the other way, the Bobcats needed some late-set heroics and were saved by senior Bonnie Conklin who smashed a kill to tie the score. After a Lady Bear error the Bobcats closed the rally with a kill from Urycki to win, 27-25.
The fourth and final set was dominated once again by Urycki and the Bobcats as she posted one kill and two service aces to carry the 13-4 Bobcat run to start. The Lady Bears once again fought back and pushed the score back to 15-14 but it wasn't enough as a total team effort helped finish the job for the Bobcats. The run started with a solo block from Leigh and after a kill and service ace from sophomore Chandler Thornton (Arlington, Texas), Paolucci closed the door with a game-winning kill to seal the victory, 25-21.
Lafayette 3, Quinnipiac 0 Recap
The Bobcats had to deal with the Leopards and their vaunted defense in the first match to start the day for Quinnipiac. Despite a near double double from Ogden (17 assists, nine digs) and another great all-around effort from Robinson (six kills, eight digs) the Bobcats fell short, 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-16).
Quinnipiac was strong in the early going as they came out of the gates firing, up 10-5 to open the match. Lafayette then regained their command on the set as they won 12 of the next 14 points until the Bobcats bounced back with a mini-run of their own. The road squad slowly built up some momentum and had the deficit dropped to just two at 22-20 but Lafayette finished their business with a 25-22 victory.
Once again the Bobcats seized control early in the second set as they took advantage of some Leopard miscues and took their biggest lead of the set on a Leigh kill to make it 11-5. The Quinnipiac run however quickly was put to rest as the Lafayette defense responded, posting a total of eight blocks throughout the remainder of the set. Quinnipiac held the lead as late as 15-14 but the defensive front wouldn't let the Bobcat offense built up any momentum as they claimed the set victory, 25-16.
The continuing theme once again reined true in the third as the Bobcats built up an early advantage only to let the Leopards take control in the later stages. Paolucci helped spark a 9-1 run as she notched two kills and a block to build a 14-12 Bobcat advantage. The scoring spree was put to rest however as Lafayette's clutch late-set efforts prevailed, closing out the set and match on a 13-2 run to claim a 25-16 victory.
The Bobcats will now look forward as they resume action on Wednesday against another non-conference opponent in Holy Cross. Their first MAAC battle will be Saturday, Sept. 21 at home against Fairfield.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com