Quinnipiac added to its three-game win streak Sunday, beating Niagara 3-1 after excellent play by senior middle blockers Nicole Legg and sophomore middle blocker Lexi Morse and from sophomore setter Chloe Ka’ahanui and senior setter Nicole Migliozzi.
Setting has been one of the Bobcats’ rough spots this year but when it’s on like it was Sunday, it makes all the difference in the play of this team.
“Our setters have been really, really good the past two weeks, a lot better than they’ve been showing … the accuracy is a lot better than it has been,” Quinnipiac volleyball head coach Kyle Robinson said.
Starting in the first set, Legg and Morse were making their impact felt early, spiking the ball over the Purple Eagles.
But Niagara matched what Legg and Morse brought to the table with senior right side hitter Mary Redl, earning herself 11 kills in the game and five during the first set.
Both teams battled back and forth with each other until Quinnipiac went on an 8-2 run at the end of the first set, earning the W 25-17.
However, the second set did not go in the Bobcats’ favor. Quinnipiac started off firing on all cylinders, with Legg and Morse continuing to hold their own, earning itself a 17-13 advantage.
But the Purple Eagles would not quit in this set. Niagara went on a 12-6 run from there, capitalizing on Quinnipiac errors and winning the set 25-23.
“I thought we played very tentative in that set,” Robinson said. “I think we were trying not to lose instead of trying to win.”
That’s the last time Quinnipiac played tentatively Sunday.
Quinnipiac began its late-game domination in the third set, where freshman libero Faavae Kimsel Moe served an ace which pumped her team up and killed Niagara’s momentum. The Bobcats kept their momentum going and won the set by a margin of nine points, winning 25-16.
Kimsel Moe, especially,has given Quinnipiac new life with her play.
“She’s a really good libero, and she’s taken on a lot of responsibility as a first year … her touch on the ball, her confidence in herself, her belief in her teammates … she’s a huge impact for us,” Robinson said.
In the fourth set, everything came together for Quinnipiac. First-year middle blocker and right side hitter Alexandra Tennon slammed down a Niagara attack and got the Bobcats energized to take the set.
Reminiscent of all the previous sets, Legg and Morse provided the power at the front of the net to help the Bobcats claw their way ahead of the Purple Eagles and junior right side/outside hitter Aryanah Diaz dished out kills to beat Niagara 25-12 in that set, and win the match 3-1.
Coming up on Saturday, Oct. 30, Quinnipiac has a massive game against the Fairfield Stags, the No. 1 ranked team in the MAAC. Morse and the Bobcats feel that they can compete against the Stags.
“I think we’re ready, if we have a week like we did last week for practice and then play like we just did,” Morse said. “They have a good run for their money.”
Quinnipiac will look to keep its winning streak alive against Fairfield at 1 p.m. at Burt Kahn Court.