Quinnipiac volleyball has hung up two new banners commemorating its successful 2022 season.
Quinnipiac volleyball has hung up two new banners commemorating its successful 2022 season.
Peyton McKenzie

Bobcat Report: Volleyball raises banners, tennis court update, Massarelli’s big performance

Welcome to “Bobcat Report,” the Chronicle’s new weekly column that breaks down all the recent games, facts and lesser-known stories surrounding Quinnipiac athletics this year. 


Burt Kahn Banners

After a miraculous run through the MAAC postseason and a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the volleyball program’s home court will look a bit different in 2023. 

Two new banners at Burt Kahn Court were officially raised over the summer, honoring the previous year’s conference championship and national postseason appearance. 

“I have mixed feelings about it,” head coach Kyle Robinson said about the new decor. “The banners are already up … I’d much rather throw a big party and have everyone come.”

With the team on the road until Sept. 16, this year’s edition of the Bobcats won’t be able to play under the new banners until their first conference matchup against Niagara. But in terms of a celebration? That isn’t set in stone just yet.

“We’re not exactly sure what we’re going to do,” Robinson said. “I’m not sure if there’s going to be a specific banner night.”


Hokie Invitational

Before the Bobcats volleyball team can officially have a banner celebration, they start the season on a long road trip, including a visit to Virginia to kick off tournament play. 

On Friday, the defending MAAC champions faced off against Furman and Virginia Tech. Despite both losses, Quinnipiac’s star players had good performances.

Graduate student hitter Aryanah Diaz and sophomore hitter Ginevra Giovagnoni both had 19+ kills in a five-set loss in the opener, and freshman hitter Leilani-kai Giusta made her collegiate debut in a straight-sets loss to the Hokies. 

Diaz, who was named to the Hokie Invitational All-Tournament Team, racked up six kills and an ace in the third game of the weekend. The Bobcats beat Morgan State 3-0 on Saturday, the first win of the campaign and final game until Sept. 1 against Virginia at the Columbia Invitational in New York. 


Campus Construction

The men’s and women’s tennis teams finally have courts on campus … kind of. 

While the construction hasn’t been completed, the groundwork has been laid down for six new courts and planning has continued to trend upwards before both programs open play on Sept. 8 (women’s) and Sept. 22 (men’s). 

To bring the court back, the university stripped out 145 parking spots from North Lot.

Quinnipiac University tore out 145 parking spots to add tennis courts back on campus this summer. (Peyton McKenzie)

But this isn’t the first time the university has tried to get courts back on campus. 

In May 2022, Quinnipiac planned to construct courts on the North Haven campus. However, pushback from residents of North Haven forced the university to withdraw those plans just five months later.

For the women’s program looking to win a second-straight conference title and a men’s team on the uprise, the eventual true home courts are an important step to the growth of Quinnipiac tennis. 


Missing Cooke’s Scoring Touch

Quinnipiac women’s soccer won its conference last year, backed by a record-setting season from senior forward Rebecca Cooke. After scoring 39 goals for the Bobcats during her three seasons, the Dublin, Ireland, native has since transferred to Penn State. 

But how will the loss of Cooke impact Quinnipiac? In its first game of the season, the defending MAAC champions went scoreless in a 3-0 loss to the Providence Friars. 

“We deserved to score at least one,” head coach Dave Clarke said. “I don’t wanna be in (the team’s) face for 90 minutes, but sometimes if I have to be, I will be.”

On the other hand — in an 8-0 victory over Division II West Chester — the Nittany Lions got some scoring help from their new offensive addition. Cooke scored her first goal as a member of her new team in the 63rd minute.

It’s a long season and it is far too early to tell which side will come out smiling. But after round one, it looks like Cooke has the upper hand. 


Emilia For Three

In field hockey’s 4-3 loss to New Hampshire on Friday, junior forward Emilia Massarelli scored her first career hat trick, accounting for all the Bobcats’ goals in their season opener. All three goals came in the third quarter. 

“She’s a really good athlete,” former Quinnipiac head coach Becca Main told the Chronicle last September. “We don’t have enough of that … It doesn’t matter if we’re playing kickball or handball, she usually wins because she’s played a lot of sports.”

The Argentinian continued her strong collegiate career, scoring goals number 19, 20 and 21 of her Quinnipiac tenure. The two-time Second Team All-BIG EAST player also was the team’s leader in goals and points scored in 2021. 

One Game To Watch This Week: Men’s Soccer vs Boston College (Monday, Aug. 28 at 4 p.m.)

After three soccer games in 2023, both the men’s and women’s soccer programs are yet to score a goal (0-2-1 combined). The Bobcats men’s squad, looking to defend their MAAC title, welcome in the Eagles, who are coming off a 1-0 win over Merrimack on Thursday. 


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