The Quinnipiac women’s volleyball team gave the defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Fairfield Stags all they could handle in its first ever MAAC game, but fell short losing three sets to one.
Both teams came into the game having only registered two wins in the non-conference schedule, Fairfield having played against some very tough competition, but the Bobcats were outmatched on this day.
Fairfield sprinted out to a 19-9 start in the first set, but Quinnipiac came roaring back, scoring eight straight points to make it 19-17. The Stags then went on to score six of the next seven points to take the first set 25-18.
The second set was evenly contested up until the Bobcats took an 18-17 lead. Fairfield went on to score eight of the next eleven points to take the second set 25-21. Through the first two sets, Fairfield had evenly dispersed their kills, as four different Stags had at least five kills.
With their backs against the wall, the Bobcats came out firing on all cylinders in the third set. Quinnipiac took the lead early and kept Fairfield a good distance away for the majority of the set. Things got dicey towards the end, but with a few lucky breaks the Bobcats held on to take the set 25-22.
The loss in the third set seemed to anger the Stags, as they came out with new energy in set number four. They got off to 9-2 start, and Quinnipiac was never able to make it any closer, as Fairfield took the set 25-16, and the match three sets to one.
The story of this match, was the play of redshirt senior setter Carsen Mata. Through two sets she had 21 assists and eight digs. By the end of the match Mata attained a double-double with 40 assists and 12 digs. Hadley Orr added 12 kills on 24 attempts with only four errors.
Of note for Quinnipiac was Emma Ogden, the freshman setter, who compiled 33 assists and eight digs in the match coming off MAAC player of the week honors. Logan Riker added 17 digs to her all-time Quinnipiac record.
Quinnipiac head coach Kristopher Czaplinski thought that the Bobcats were ready for the challenge, but said Fairfield just knows how to get it done.
“We were ready for this team, but they have been in the top two of this conference for five years, so they know how to win,” Czaplinski said. “We are a young team and we need the reps because you can’t teach decision making. We have a freshman setter, who is doing a great job, but they have a senior setter, who was able to find the holes in the blocking, which was the difference in the match.”
Quinnipiac will take on Hartford on Sept. 25 at Burt Kahn Court.