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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 women’s basketball hoping to create postseason magic

Peyton McKenzie
Quinnipiac head coach Tricia Fabbri looks on a win against Maine on Nov. 6, 2023.

If I were to hypothetically walk into Bally’s, Caesars or one of the many casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey — the host of the MAAC Tournament — and bet my entire bank account on Quinnipiac women’s basketball to win the conference, I would probably lose money.

Especially when Fairfield is on a 24-game win streak, at the top of the MAAC, and became the first MAAC team to be ranked in the Associated Press poll at No. 25 since the 2011 Marist Red Foxes.

Coupled with emerging Canisius and consistent staples like Niagara, Manhattan and Siena, my bank account would likely be in shambles in this hypothetical.

In reality, it wouldn’t. I’m not 21, so I can’t legally bet, but I would bet on the Bobcats potentially pulling off some upsets. Here’s why:


A lingering storyline throughout Quinnipiac’s season has been its injuries.

Head coach Tricia Fabbri announced on Dec. 19 that junior guard Jackie Grisdale would miss the remainder of the season with a lower-body injury. To add more salt to the wound, sophomore forward Ella O’Donnell and freshman guards Maria Kealy and Karson Martin are currently injured.

To put it into perspective, four of the five normal starters for the Bobcats are injured.

“It’s hard to overcome the injury bug, and then to have so many of them,” Fabbri said on Feb. 29. “It compounds.”

But that could change, as Fabbri alluded to following Quinnipiac’s 64-46 loss on Feb. 29 to Fairfield.

“I’m remaining optimistic that we are going to get healthier after this game,” Fabbri said.

If O’Donnell, Kealy and Martin can get healthy in time for the tournament, the Bobcats could play the ace up their sleeve and add to the tools they have to compete with most teams.


Quinnipiac has good players.

Look no further than the freshman duo of Martin and forward Anna Foley.

Foley and Martin have likely earned spots on the All-MAAC Rookie Team, are first and second on the team in scoring among eligible players and are second and third among rookies in the MAAC, respectively.

Foley is averaging 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game since Feb. 1. Both are All-MAAC First Team-esque numbers.

“It means a lot to be able to contribute in this way,” Foley said on Feb. 1. “(Getting) back to the game I know I’m capable of.”

O’Donnell, junior forward Grace LaBarge and freshman guard Ava Sollenne all have put up respectable seasons and proven to be assets to the team.

When O’Donnell’s healthy, she can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the conference. LaBarge is a consistent three-point threat, sitting third in three-point percentage and Sollenne tops the list among Quinnipiac’s active players.

If Quinnipiac wants to compete in the tournament, it needs great showings from its best players.


The Bobcats currently sit seventh in the MAAC, which would line them up to play the No. 10 seed — Saint Peter’s. Marist is only a game behind the Peacocks, so Quinnipiac could potentially face the Red Foxes too.

This matchup bodes well for Quinnipiac; it has never lost to the Peacocks and beat them twice already this season, albeit in sloppy fashion.

The Bobcats have hit their ceiling, and they can’t go higher than the No. 7 seed. However, they can fall. Iona and Rider are only one game behind Quinnipiac.

Its next game is against Iona on Thursday, March 7.

Beating the Gaels is imperative for the Bobcats. If they end the season as an eight or nine seed and win their first game in the tournament, they then have a one-way ticket to face Fairfield in the quarterfinals.

But if they can beat Iona in New Rochelle, New York, then return home and defeat Marist on March 9, Quinnipiac would hold the No. 7 seed.

For the sake of brevity, I’m going to proceed as if the Bobcats are the No. 7 in the tournament.

If they do beat Saint Peter’s, they’ll face the No. 2 seed, likely Niagara or Siena.

Quinnipiac can beat Niagara — it pushed the Purple Eagles to overtime twice this season, the latest time being without O’Donnell and Kealy.

“We go out expecting to win,” Fabbri said following the Feb. 22 loss to Niagara. “It’s amazing how we have faced all our challenges this year and continue to come out … and keep battling.”

However, Siena has comfortably handled the Bobcats twice this season, beating them by double digits both in Hamden and at home.

The one saving grace for Quinnipiac in this potential matchup is that junior forward Anajah Brown has not played for the Saints since Feb. 22. She is considered day-to-day with a shoulder injury, per a team source. If she’s out, Foley could shine in the paint.

If the Bobcats do match up with Siena, Quinnipiac’s guards must manage the dominant Saints guards — senior Ahniysha Jackson and sophomores Elisa Mevius, Teresa Seppala and London Gamble.


The Bobcats have never found themselves in the bottom half of the MAAC since they joined the conference in 2013. This is the lowest seed they’ve ever been while in the conference.

There’s no way to know what will happen. But don’t write the Bobcats off.

They’ve fought tremendously in wins, they’ve fought tremendously in losses and they’ll fight again in the MAAC tournament.

And who knows, maybe I’ll double my metaphorical money by the end of the tournament.

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Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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