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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac tops Siena, remains undefeated in-conference after New York road trip

Tyler Rinko
Quinnipiac volleyball continues its five-game roadstand at Iona and Manhattan next weekend.

After a grueling five-set match against Marist on Saturday, Quinnipiac volleyball went right back to the office in a four-set win against Siena Sunday afternoon. The Bobcats were forced to adjust in both games this weekend after not dropping a set in their first two MAAC games.

The first set started out slow, and both teams struggled to get off quality hits. The return of sophomore outside hitter Genevra Giovagnoni this weekend was felt in both games, and she made her presence a problem for Siena in the first set. Giovagnoni tipped balls over the Siena block with ease in the early phase, and helped Quinnipiac jump out to a five-point lead.

As the set drew on, the Bobcats began to trip. The offense missed some sets to the middle blockers, and with a few more errors, Quinnipiac found itself up by only one point late in the set. Head coach Kyle Robinson took a timeout, which he typically only does in the most dire of situations. 

Out of the timeout the Bobcats got back to business, and won the set thanks to the defensive efforts of graduate student libero Aryanah Diaz and senior middle blocker Lexi Morse. Diaz was crucial in covering stray balls off of the Siena block, and Morse had a huge block to get the game to match point.

After eking out the first set win by just three points, Quinnipiac had to try their best to ride the momentum they had. The second set opened up at an even 4-4 and the Saints capitalized on every chance that the Bobcats gave them. Thanks to some excellent service work from junior opposite hitter Alexandra Tennon and solid finishing from both Giovagnoni and fellow sophomore outside hitter Yagmur Gunes, Quinnipiac jumped out to a 12-6 lead. 

Giovagnoni had by far the biggest impact this set, hitting for .389 in the stretch where Quinnipiac got its lead. Her consistency and balance between finesse and power is why she was so sorely missed by the Bobcats in the preseason.

Later in the second set, a new layer in the Bobcats’ offensive scheme began to reveal itself. Sophomore setter Damla Gunes wasn’t just setting up gorgeous chances for her teammates, but also participating in the offense a bit herself. Over the course of the season she’s gotten much more comfortable with faking the set to dump the ball over the net. Although this move may seem miniscule or predictable, it adds utility in both scoring, and drawing the defense towards the setter, making it easier for her hitters to put the ball on the floor. Thanks to all this offense, the Bobcats took set two with relative ease.

Unfortunately for the visitors, Quinnipiac hit a bigger road block than expected in the third set. The beginning of the set played out similarly to the other two, until Siena started building up a lead. And kept it.

One of the Bobcats’ most prominent issues this season is one that they unfortunately can’t fix. Quinnipiac is a short team, and in the third set it really showed. Siena’s block adjusted too well for Quinnipiac to handle, and they suffered for it. Thanks to the block shaking up the Bobcats, the Saints were able to get the most creativity out of their offense they had the entire game. This all culminated into a fantastic slide play, where the middle runs on the other side of the setter as a means for misdirection. The point being that the momentum flipped heavily in Siena’s favor and they didn’t let go.

Freshman outside hitter Leilani-kai Giusta also entered the game in the third set, and she had a nice bounce back from her performance at Marist. The rest of the team followed, making a little run at the end of the set to get some momentum back. The deficit went from eight to five by the time Siena captured the set, but Quinnipiac came back in a dominant fashion.

Robinson made several crucial adjustments entering into the final set of the game, and his team sure made them count. The set victory was 25-13, and it might’ve been one of the best sets the team played this year. Every single player got involved. Damla Gunes nailed practically all of her sets en route to 41 assists, and hustled hard on defense earning nine digs. Diaz looks more comfortable in her libero spot every passing game, and she showed it with her game-high eleven digs. 

The unsung hero in this game was without a doubt junior opposite hitter Alexandra Tennon. She led the game with 16 kills, hit for .394, and had eight digs. She was a force in every aspect of her game, and even put an exclamation point on the game with a phenomenal back row spike to close the coffin. 

Quinnipiac volleyball remains undefeated in the MAAC at 4-0, standing as the only undefeated team in the conference. The Bobcats will look to keep the hot streak alive when they visit Iona on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.

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Tyler Rinko
Tyler Rinko, Associate Photography Editor

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