Volleyball falls to Hartford for second straight match

Marissa Criscitelli

Coming off one of their most valiant efforts on Sept. 16 at the CCSU Blue Devil Tournament, the Quinnipiac volleyball team was set for a rematch against the Hartford Hawks on Sept. 19. Their last meeting against the Hawks was a grueling match that ended with a 3-2 Hartford win.

On a night when the Bobcats were looking for a little revenge, they again fell short dropping a 3-0 decision. Bobcat Crista Valentino finished with her second straight double-double and Erin Overdevest had a career-high 21 digs, but Hartford was able to outlast Quinnipiac 31-29, 30-24, 30-28. Jenna Benigno also finished the match with a career-best 8.67 assists per game.

The Bobcats controlled most of the first set. To tie the set at five, Valentino recorded a kill, and Hartford followed with three attacking errors, and the Bobcats continued to hold the lead until set point. Benigno set up Janelle Walz for the kill with the score tied at 28, giving the Bobcats the one point advantage for set point. However, the Hawks came back with three unanswered points and took the first set 31-29.

Quinnipiac took the first two points in the second set because of a Hartford attacking error and an Erin Overdevest service ace. With the ‘Cats up 17-15, Hartford scored three straight points to hold an 18-17 advantage. Quinnipiac tied it at 18, but Hartford followed with four straight points to make it 22-18 and continued to lead the rest of the set.

At the start of the third set, down two sets to none, Quinnipiac once again took control and held the lead for most of the set. With a seven-point lead, the Bobcats were halfway to the set victory at 15-8.

Hartford was relentless and crawled back to tie the score at 21. The Bobcats went ahead 22-21 with a Hawk attack error. The Hawks tied again, but Bobcat Ashley Angle responded with a kill set up by Benigno to give them the 23-22 lead. The Hawks tied again, and Benigno set up Walz for a kill to give the Bobcats the 24-23 lead. When the Hawks answered back again, the Bobcats could not respond. Hartford took the advantage at 26-24 and led the remainder of the set to the 30-28 win and match victory.

“It was a very, very close match as you can see by the score. We outblocked them and we tied them in digs defensively, but we have a lot of work to do on the offensive side of the ball,” head coach Sue Medley said.

Valentino’s second straight double-double came from her 11 kills and 10 digs. She also had two service aces, a team high. Angle led the Bobcat team with a .278 hitting percentage and four blocks.

The Bobcats headed to the University of Pennsylvania to compete in their fifth and final tournament of the regular season at the Sheraton Invitational. The tournament started with a 3-0 loss against Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday evening, and continued with losses versus UPenn and Binghamton, dropping those contests 3-0 and 3-0 respectively.