Quinnipiac extends its winning streak to three, beats Saint Peter’s in straight sets


Peyton McKenzie

Quinnipiac volleyball clinched a first-round bye in next week’s MAAC tournament in Orlando, Florida.

Alexandra Martinakova, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – The Quinnipiac volleyball team swept their opponents off of the Burt Kahn Court on Saturday, beating the Saint Peter’s Peacocks in straight sets.

In their second-to-last home match of the season, the Bobcats welcomed the Saint Peter’s team to town, who currently holds one of the last positions in the conference. While freshman outside hitter Ginevra Giovagnoni returned to the line-up from an abdominal injury, senior opposite hitter Alisa Mejia was sidelined with an ankle injury from last week’s match against Manhattan on Nov. 5. Mejia will have to sit out tomorrow’s Senior Day game, with no clear timeline on her return.

The Peacocks might’ve seemed like a sure win on paper today, but head coach Kyle Robinson did not let his team take them lightly.

“Saint Peter’s is a scary team. The reality is, their team has nothing to lose,” Robinson said. “That whole attitude is dangerous; they are a really hard working team, a really young team. We went into it trying to be professional; knowing that a team like Saint Peter’s can sneak up on you and earn their win.”

The game opened with a beautifully executed kill from freshman outside hitter Yagmur Gunes, which coincidentally set the tone for the rest of the match. Out of the 59 total points won by the Bobcats, 44 were scored by kills, with senior outside hitter Aryanah Diaz leading the team with 13 of them.

Even though Saint Peter’s was 1-16 in the MAAC, its gameplay would suggest otherwise. 

The visiting team managed more often than not to get through Quinnipiac’s defense and maintained a tight score all the way to the end of the first set. Nine of the 24 points earned by the Peacocks were due to attack and service errors on the Bobcats The rest of them were thanks to kills, as Saint Peter’s junior outside hitter Skylee Nelson managed to score six of them in just the first set.

It wasn’t enough, though, and the Bobcats took the first set 26-24.

The second set was akin more to a sweep than a well-balanced match. Despite some heated moments that had spectators on the edge of their seats, the Bobcats took the second set for themselves with the score 24-10. 

The majority of the Bobcats’ attackers and blockers managed to score at least one kill, including freshman middle blocker Milena Martinon, graduate middle blocker Nicole Legg, sophomore opposite hitter/middle blocker Alexandra Tennon, junior middle blocker Lexi Morse, freshman opposite hitter Giorgia Donghi and Diaz.  

With the morale high both on the court and the bleachers, it didn’t take much for Quinnipiac to kill its way to victory. The Peacocks didn’t go down without a fight, managing to pull into a lead for the first time in the match. It didn’t last long though, and after a picture perfect block by Tennon and freshman middle blocker Bailey Brashear, the Bobcats won the last set 25-18, sweeping the Peacocks 3-0.

Despite the many kills scored, the match seemed to be a blocker game. Most of the first set points scored by Saint Peter’s were barreled through Quinnipiac’s blocks. However, this statistic improved in the following two sets, with Morse leading the team with five of the 10 blocks, Tennon and Legg right behind her.

When asked what changed between the first two sets, Robinson had a straight answer.

“A lot of our conversations between sets are built around staying focused on doing what we do well in practice,” Robinson said. “We’re such a good team, so much better than what we show sometimes. So much better than what we’ve shown in the first set.”

Quinnipiac now stands 9-8 in the conference play before its last match before the MAAC tournament. Because all 10 teams are guaranteed to compete in the tournament, which is being played in Orlando, all of the players are looking forward to the trip next week.

“I think it’s going to be extremely fun,” Morse said. “We are planning on going to Disney, we’re really excited to take the internationals down and show it to them.” 

Thanks to the victory and a Rider loss to Fairfield, Quinnipiac has clinched a first-round bye in next week’s playoffs.

The Bobcats will welcome the Rider Broncs for the last game of the regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday before the MAAC tournament.