Quinnipiac maintains composure in 3-1 victory against Canisius

Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

HAMDEN, Conn – After a slow start to the regular season, Quinnipiac volleyball has been able to right the ship as of late. The Bobcats extended their MAAC winning streak to three, defeating the visiting Canisius Golden Griffins 3-1 on Saturday.

The two stars of the show were senior opposite hitter Aryanah Diaz, who amassed 13 kills and 13 digs, and sophomore Alexandre Tennon, who recorded 10 kills and three blocks in the winning effort. 

Head coach Kyle Robinson spoke highly of Diaz, comparing her to Houston Astros second baseman José Altuve.

“‘Ari’ always plays good, she’s one of the few athletes I never have to worry about,” Robinson said. “To be able to play the game the way she does at her height is really, really special.”

“I think because of her height, she gets looked over a lot … and shame on them,” Robinson added. “I know talent when I see it and she’s a special talent.”

The first set seemed to be all Quinnipiac early on. Strong serves along with some costly decisions by the Golden Griffins allowed the Bobcats to take the first set 25-14. Freshman opposite hitter Giorgia Donghi struggled early on, but was able to even out and contribute down the stretch.

Staying calm and remaining steady has been a common theme for this very deep Bobcats team, who are on their longest win streak since October of last year. 

“Some teams will just take players with no big purpose, we don’t have that,” Robinson said. “Everyone has a purpose with our team right now. You can choose anyone on this team and find a really, really good story.”

Canisius was able to take the second set by four points as freshman setter Ella Bourque recorded 20+ assists for the 20th straight game. The set was clinched after a 9-1 run by the Golden Griffins, which seemed to briefly deflate the Bobcats.

However, coming out of the second set, that deflation seemed to evaporate, as the hosts held strong to take the third set, 25-20. Although Canisius started to climb its way back late in the third, the Bobcats stood strong to reclaim the lead. 

“You have to train well, you have to train heavy at times and know when to train light,” Robinson said. “Depth helps … it allows us to give some rest to some of the players who are carrying a heavier load than others.”

Quinnipiac was able to secure its sixth win of the season after rattling off a 25-19 victory in the fourth set. The lead was taken back by the Bobcats with the help of graduate student middle blocker Nicole Legg, who tied a career-high with seven aces in the match. 

“I think this is turning a new leaf for us … (the) second time we are playing all these teams now,” Legg said. “All that energy fired us up today and for our next matches as well.”

Robinson provided an update on freshman outside hitter Ginevra Giovagnoni, who has been battling with an abdominal injury for the better part of a month. While she is able to set and defend injury-free, any movement above the head is something she is still looking to regain strength in. 

The Bobcats (6-13, 5-7) will stay at home and will welcome in the Niagara Purple Eagles (6-15, 4-7) tomorrow at 1 p.m.