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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac volleyball exacts ‘revenge’ on Fairfield in four sets

Peyton McKenzie
From left, sophomore setter Damla Gunes, sophomore outside hitter Ginevra Giovagnoni, graduate outside hitter Aryanah Diaz and sophomore middle blocker Bailey Brashear celebrate a kill during the Bobcats’ 3-0 win over the Iona Gaels on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023 at Burt Kahn Court.

HAMDEN, Conn — Despite losing its first set at home all season, Quinnipiac volleyball made history against Fairfield on Sunday. The four-set victory over the Stags on ‘Bobcats vs. Breast Cancer’ day was the team’s 12th win in conference play this season, the most in a single season in the program’s Division I history. 

The day began with staff members handing all 451 people in attendance a pair of pink boomsticks to make for one of the loudest environments that Burt Kahn Court has ever seen. 

“That was (Assistant Athletic Director Casey Stark’s) idea,” head coach Kyle Robinson said. “(Stark) does a lot of initiatives for breast cancer awareness … I didn’t know anything about it until I got here. I thought it was cool to see a lot of the fans in pink along with costumes, which is fun. I thought it was a great idea.”

That energy remained constant throughout the first set, with a “Let’s Go Bobcats!” chant erupting from the crowd about halfway through. However, the Bobcats came out of the gate sloppy, finding themselves consistently out of position and sending shots into the net. 

That sloppiness helped Fairfield build a 22-14 lead in the first set, punctuated by a kill from Fairfield junior hitter Mikayla Haut, who racked up 16 total during the match. After that, it wasn’t all Bobcats, but they always seemed to come out on top.

Quinnipiac went on an 8-3 run to end the first set, which wasn’t enough as Fairfield took it 25-22, but the momentum carried for the rest of the match. 

From the second set onward, the Bobcats’ offensive weapons, — hitters sophomore Ginevra Giovagnoni (20 kills) and graduate student Aryanah Diaz (19 kills) — came alive. While the team’s hitting percentage was not the best it has been all season, the swings from said weapons were effective. 

Quinnipiac racked up 63 total kills in the match, its second-highest total this season. That total was only one less than the season-opening matchup against Furman and in one less set. 

“From the second set, we all said, ‘OK, regroup,’” Giovagnoni said. “We thought that we were more efficient and disciplined, and that’s the reason why we were successful.”

The Bobcats had the lead for nearly the entire second set, keeping the Stags at bay to the tune of a 25-20 victory.

Quinnipiac’s net defense also became a star of the show at this point, as five Bobcats recorded a block at one point or another, combining for 13 total in the four, dazzling sets. 

Both the third and fourth sets looked quite similar to one another, with both sides trading blows the whole way through until Quinnipiac came out victorious both times, 25-21 in the third set and 25-22 in the fourth. 

The match’s final point was a kill from sophomore middle blocker Bailey Brashear, her second of the game, but potentially the most important of her young Quinnipiac career. 

“I saw that ball come over, and we needed to put it away. We needed to win the set,” Brashear said. “It’s a big feeling, especially with a team like this. There’s a lot of emotion and the crowd was really, really good tonight, which is great for us … It’s a really big deal to get a point like that.”

With the win, Quinnipiac splits the season series against Fairfield, with both sides winning at home in four sets. The Bobcats were not thrilled by their loss to the Stags on Oct. 6, which made this outcome all the sweeter.

“It was a revenge that I took from (the) last match,” Giovagnoni said. “We all knew that we had to win today.” 

With a 12-2 record in the MAAC, Quinnipiac now holds sole possession of first place in the conference and can clinch a first-round bye in the MAAC Tournament with a win over Marist on Saturday, Nov. 4. 

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Michael LaRocca
Michael LaRocca, Opinion Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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