Quinnipiac women’s volleyball grabs first MAAC win

Bryan Lipiner

Midway through the third set of Saturday’s women’s volleyball game against Rider, the Broncs took their first timeout, sending each team to their respective benches, Quinnipiac and Rider tied at 1.

The Bobcats bench, after dropping the previous set, echoed three words over and over.

“Don’t let up.”

The phrase proved to be the theme of Saturday’s conference matchup, as Quinnipiac battled back in three-of-four sets, defeating Rider 3-1 in the Bobcats’ first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win in program history.

“We played very well,” Quinnipiac head coach Kristopher Czaplinski said. “We stuck together, we remained positive. We just didn’t quit.”

The victory also snaps the Bobcats’ five-game losing streak, dating back to Sept. 18 at Holy Cross.

Down 21-17 late in the third set, Quinnipiac rattled off eight unanswered points, taking the set and the 2-1 lead. Later, in the fourth set, Quinnipiac was down 20-18. Yet, the Bobcats rallied back once again, going on a 7-2 run to take the set and the match.

“We know not to give up, we never want to give up,” freshman Emma Odgen said. “We had a wall to get through. We broke through it, and now we’re only going up from here.”

The Bobcats mounted an additional comeback in the first set. Rider took a 4-1 lead, however Quinnipiac eventually pushed to tie the game at 9. The Bobcats took control of the set from there, later topping Rider 25-20 for the early 1-0 advantage.

Allison Leigh, Tanner Celestin, and Jamie Paolucci helped lead the offensive attack, combining for 35 kills. Leigh also recorded 13 blocks, while Emma Odgen added 47 assists.

“Everything seemed to match up quick. We had more points fall our way,” Czaplinski said.

Quinnipiac only set loss came in the second. Despite being down 24-21, the Bobcats came back again, this time to tie the set at 24. Rider had different plans, however, scoring two straight points to take the set.

The Bobcats return to the court tomorrow when they host Saint Peter’s at 12 p.m.