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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 volleyball struggles away from home, swept by Niagara in straight sets

Quinn O’Neill
Alexandra Tennon, third year opposite, goes up high to spike the ball over the net against Rider on October 15th, 2023.

After its first loss of the MAAC season to Fairfield on Oct. 7, Quinnipiac volleyball looked forward to a three-game homestand after being away from Burt Kahn Court for nearly a month. While the Bobcats have yet to give up a match on home turf, neither have the Niagara Purple Eagles, who swept the Bobcats in straight sets Saturday.

Just last Sunday, Niagara gave 9-1 Marist its second loss on the year. The Purple Eagles were able to do the same to Quinnipiac, who coincidentally, came into Niagara’s Gallagher Center with the same record. While Quinnipiac will still retain its second place spot in the MAAC, its loss against Niagara brought a lot of the Bobcats’ weaknesses to the spotlight.

The first set started out rough for the visitors, when the Purple Eagles leapt out to a 9-2 start. The worst issue isn’t even that Niagara was playing out of its minds, but that Quinnipiac was forced into making the mistakes.

The Bobcats made five attack errors in their first stretch, and it all went downhill from there. The Purple Eagles continued to put pressure on the Quinnipiac back line, who was struggling all match to make consistently solid first passes.

Niagara’s lead built up to 20-9 when Quinnipiac head coach Kyle Robinson decided to make some substitutions, but by then it was too late. Between two more attack errors and two bad sets, Quinnipiac lost the first set by a score of 25 to 11.

The second set started out much better for the Bobcats. They were able to get more aggressive swings to the Niagara side. Sophomore setter Damla Gunes spread the wealth early, with kills coming from sophomore outside hitter Ginevra Giovagnoni, graduate student outside hitter Aryanah Diaz and sophomore middle blocker Bailey Brashear.

Later in the second set, Gunes got the middle blockers much more involved in the offense. In a small run, senior middle blocker Lexi Morse clocked in two blocks and a kill to put Quinnipiac up by two. Unfortunately the lead didn’t last long, as the Purple Eagles offense performed at their top form late into the set. They went on another 5-0 run to take the lead back from the Bobcats, and didn’t lose it for the rest of the set.

Niagara’s block was nothing less than formidable, recording only two solo, but a whopping 24 block assists. Armed with a whopping 18 extra points over Quinnipiac, Niagara swiftly took care of the Bobcats.

This was, through statistics and eye test, the worst the Bobcats have played this season in the MAAC. Within the next four weeks, Quinnipiac plays three teams from the top half of the current MAAC standings. That means the Bobcats have to be able to improve in adjusting while on the road.

But before then, Quinnipiac plays against Canisius on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m.

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Quinn O’Neill, Associate Multimedia Editor

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