Raggio’s Rally: Heading into MAAC matches


Peyton McKenzie

Quinnipiac women’s tennis heads into MAAC play on the heels of back-to-back 7-0 wins.

Ryan Raggio, Staff Writer

With MAAC play starting next week, both the Quinnipiac men’s and women’s tennis teams chose the right time to get red-hot.

The women’s program started the season with a 2-3 record and have since turned it around to go 6-5 in its last 11. The Bobcats are a streaky team – as evidenced by their 8-8 record – in some matches they dominate and others they battle, but come away with a loss.

An impressive feature of the 11-match stretch was that four of the team’s six wins came via the shutout. Graduate student Kamilla Nella and senior Claire Koscielski were named captains of the women’s team before their first conference match against Niagara, which they won 7-0.

Nella earned her 100th career win after winning a singles match in Quinnipiac’s 7-0 win over Sacred Heart on March 22.

“Coming in as a freshman, I never thought in a million years that I’d get to 100 wins,” Nella said. “Being a part of Quinnipiac for five years now it’s just been a great experience.”

Bobcats head coach Paula Miller added an accolade of her own after the Bobcats defeated Niagara: her 100th career win with the team.

The women’s team has a deep singles lineup. Koscielski plays at the No. 1 spot and continues to impress. Miller feels she can look to Koscielski when the team needs a win.

“Claire has been playing great,” Miller said. “She’s been very consistent at winning and I can always depend on her. You don’t know if she’s winning or losing if you look at her, she’s just so calm and collected on the court and she ends up pulling through.”

Quinnipiac is also getting support from the rookies, as freshman Nikole Lisovyy holds an 8-5 singles record. She’s won her last three matches and looks to ride that momentum heading into this weekend.

The defending MAAC champions head into conference play roaring after two consecutive shutout wins over Sacred Heart and New Haven.

The men’s program has seen recent success at the right time with MAAC play starting for them. Much like the women’s team, the men are inconsistent as well, as they too have found a groove and are on a four-match win streak.

Junior Donovan Brown has been cruising through his singles matches heading into conference play. Sprinkled into the mix of nonconference matches was one against Niagara, an opponent who Quinnipiac has had great success against. With the match tied at three wins each, Brown took his match into a third set. The New York City native won the match to give Quinnipiac a 1-0 record in the conference.

Men’s tennis head coach Bryan Adinolfi has said in the past that winning the doubles point is monumental to swing the momentum of the match to Quinnipiac’s favor.

“The doubles point is big if we want to have a chance at winning the conference,” Adinolfi said.

The grind-it-out mentality he presents keeps his team motivated when they’re down in a match, along with looking to one another for motivation.

A big part of Quinnipiac’s doubles matchups has been the team of junior Shaurya Sood and senior Kemal Karagozoglu. They were unstoppable as they manned an 8-1 record in their last nine matches.

Just like the women’s team, the men’s team announced that Karagozoglu would be captain for the remainder of the 2023 campaign on March 2.

“I just try to look at my teammates and smile with them to loosen up a bit,” Karagozoglu said. “I was looking at (Sood) and Andreas (Whelan-Merediz) and they helped me relax and get in my groove.”

Both teams are looking to make noise in the MAAC. The men’s team seeks redemption following last year’s loss to Monmouth in the MAAC finals, while the women look to continue their reign as MAAC champions and earn another shot to compete for the NCAA title.