The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Sollenne, Martin emerge in women’s basketball’s overtime MAAC Tournament win

Tyler Rinko
Freshman guards Ava Sollenne (left) and Karson Martin (right) speak to the media after the Bobcats’ overtime win over Saint Peter’s.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — In a roller coaster year for Quinnipiac women’s basketball, a constant bright spot has been the emergence and growth of its young players. With a total of seven freshmen on the roster, there was  a lot of uncertainty with the roster. 

However, freshman guards Karson Martin and Ava Sollenne defied all expectations and helped the seventh-seeded Bobcats to a first-round victory over Saint Peter’s in the MAAC Tournament Tuesday afternoon. Both saw the floor the entire game and played all 45 minutes. 

“Being freshmen and being able to be out there for the whole game, it’s such an amazing opportunity and I think both of us wouldn’t want it any other way,” Sollenne said. “We’re very lucky to be doing this, especially in the tournament. Even when we were tired, I think both of us just knew it was win-or-go-home and we weren’t going home.” 

Both Martin and Sollene were granted opportunities in the starting lineup this year due to injuries hitting two starting guards — freshman guard Maria Kealy and captain junior guard Jackie Grisdale. Both underclassmen seized the opportunity and exceeded their expectations in just their first season in Hamden. 

“I think (Sollenne and Martin) alluded to how our season has been, really challenging with injuries and having to adjust quite a bit,” head coach Tricia Fabbri said. “I thought coming into this tournament, and how it played out today, that we’d be really calm and confident in those moments of destruction.” 

Defenses have had a tough time guarding them  all season, and both stepped up in a major way in their first tastes of postseason basketball. They were the Bobcats’ leading scorers, as Sollenne did what she does best from beyond the arc, going six-for-nine when it matters most against the Peacocks. 

“Survive and advance, and we’re really good at surviving to see the next day,” Fabbri said. 

Martin was named to the All-MAAC Rookie Team, and that award doesn’t do justice to what she’s accomplished to help propel the Bobcats this season. The Woodstock, Georgia, native has averaged 30 minutes this season to go along with 11.3 points per game and three rebounds.

As a walk-on, Sollenne has played in 21 of Quinnipiac’s 30 games. She’s provided a much-needed spark, as the Greenwich, Connecticut, native is shooting 37% from three, which is most among active players this season. She led all Bobcats with 19 points in the gritty overtime win in the first round of the MAAC Tournament. 

Quinnipiac has dealt with its fair share of injury hardships, but this team has gone with the next man up mentality — and that’s where both Martin and Sollenne emerged. 

Gaining the experience of practicing after a game only helps them  in March and their careers at Quinnipiac and beyond. 

“We’re very prepared, we’ve had practices after games, we are ready to go, we’re very conditioned,” Martin said. “Everyone who’s gotten us ready for moments like these and I think we’re very prepared and can go very far.” 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Tyler Rinko
Tyler Rinko, Associate Photography Editor

Comments (0)

All The Quinnipiac Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *