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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Bobcats persevere in Poughkeepsie, complete reverse sweep

Tyler Rinko
The Quinnipiac volleyball team remains undefeated in MAAC play following a come from behind 3-2 win at Marist.

In a much anticipated match up between the two top teams in the MAAC Preseason Poll, Quinnipiac volleyball rallied to a 3-2 victory against Marist Saturday afternoon after trailing 2-0 to start the day.

Heading into Saturday’s action, neither the Bobcats nor the Red Foxes had dropped a set in their combined four games of MAAC play. It was Marist who jumped to an early 1-0 lead after a convincing 25-12 win in the first set.

The Bobcats couldn’t seem to settle into a rhythm in the first set. The Red Foxes won three coaches challenges, went on two 7-1 runs and were suffocating the Quinnipiac offense up front. The Bobcats registered a hit percentage of 0.00 and repeatedly hit into blocks and sailed hits in attempts to get around blocks. Freshman standout hitter Leilaini-kai Giusta was even pulled from the match after posting a -0.211 hit percentage in two sets and a season-low three kills.

To fill in the Bobcats’ rotation for Giusta was sophomore hitter Ginerva Giovagnoni, who made her MAAC season debut midway through the first set. Giovagnoni would lead the team with 17 kills and 12 digs, and brought new life to a struggling Quinnipiac offense in the later sets.

Redshirt junior hitter Gabriella Heimbauer and senior captain hitter Sasha van de Merwe were the two main catalysts of Marist’s success, combining for 32 kills and 22 digs. The duo helped propel the Red Foxes past the Bobcats in the second set with a close 26-24 win. 

Quinnipiac was on its heels, and the prospect of suffering its first conference loss became all too real. The Bobcats had no momentum, no rhythm and no luck with close calls. It looked as if the struggles would continue for Quinnipiac as head coach Kyle Robinson lost his second challenge early in the second set as the Bobcats trailed the Red Foxes 6-4.

After the Marist lead increased to 13-9, Quinnipiac went on a 9-1 run to take a 18-14 lead, which it would hold on to and close out the set by a score of 25-20.

The Bobcats were able to carry the momentum from the third set over into the fourth, dominating the Red Foxes in a 25-16 win to even the match score at two apiece. Quinnipiac was led in the final two sets by junior opposite Alexandra Tennon, and sophomore hitter Yagmur Gunes, who had 9 and 13 kills respectively. 

Tennon teamed up with senior middle blocker Lexi Morse for back-to-back blocks and a deflection in the opening point of the final set, which was not only a flip of the script from the first set, but also a key component of the Bobcats’ sustained pressure and momentum to open the final frame.

Quinnipiac would cruise through the final set with the help of sophomore hitter Damla Gunes and her three kills to push the Bobcats to a 15-7 win in the final set.

Despite dropping its first two sets of conference play this season, Quinnipiac was able to rectify some of its early mistakes and displayed tremendous poise to rally for the comeback. The Bobcats will look to carry this momentum over to their next match, and remain undefeated in MAAC play when they take on Siena on Sept. 24 at 2:00 p.m. in Loudonville, New York.


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Tyler Rinko
Tyler Rinko, Associate Photography Editor

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    Craig DerrSep 24, 2023 at 4:05 am

    This Anthony Salvato is a great writer and can’t wait to read more of his articles!