Volleyball team advances to NEC

Erin Elfeldt

Quinnipiac, known mostly as an academic institution, is starting to make waves in athletics as well. Many athletic teams have already qualified for the NEC tournament this year and now the women’s volleyball team has followed suit.

After a 6-20 regular season record, which saw players like Kalyn Hundley and Jackie Gallo take control on their competition, the Bobcats were able to qualify for the NEC tournament as a No. 5 seed. With the No. 5 spot, the ‘Cats had to face the No. 4 seeded St. Francis. The regular season started off slow for the Bobcats, but they were able to pick up the slack towards the end of the season to earn a bid into the NEC tournament. The team was a combination of six freshman, five sophomores, two juniors and two seniors.

The Bobcats did not advance as far as they would have hoped. The tournament, held at Central Connecticut State, did not prove to be an advantage at all over St. Francis. The Bobcats lost 3-1 in the first round of the tournament.T The Bobcats were ranked fifth going into the tournament while St. Francis was ranked fourth. “We took too long to get the momentum of the game in our favor in the fourth game,” said senior co-captain Jackie Gallo.T”St. Francis had a big lead by the time we started to execute our offense, it made it hard to come back for the win.”

The Bobcats had a season total of 3,203 attacks and 161.5 blocks. Freshman Kalyn Hundley, from Gulf Breeze, Florida, led the team in attacks with 87 and blocks with 73.

Gallo, from North Branford, Connecticut, was tied with Hundley for the team lead in attacks. “I thought our team played well considering how much we relied on our freshman class,” said Gallo. “They had to adjust to a Division 1 level so fast and they played really well.”

Freshman Cristin Van Dyke from Annapolis, Maryland, was second on the team in total blocks for the season with 71.

Gallo lead the team with 19 kills and 16 digs in the NEC first round game against St. Francis, completing her volleyball career at Quinnipiac in a noteworthy manner.T Hundley completed her remarkable rookie season with 10 kills and four blocks against St. Francis. Junior Janka Lopatto recorded a team-high of 34 assists in the tournament.

Even though the Bobcats did not reach the upper echelon of the NEC this season, they have high expectations for the next one.”Next year I believe our season will be the best yet,” said Hundley. “We all have a common goal of wining the Northeast Conference Tournament and making it to the NCAA tournament. It is a very attainable goal for us as long as we work hard in practices and make our own training time the best that it can be.”