HAMDEN, Conn. - Kayla Lawler (Louisville, Ky.) had a double-double of 36 assists and a career-high 17 digs as the Quinnipiac University volleyball team defeated Saint Francis (Pa.), 3-1, Sunday afternoon to complete a weekend sweep of the Northeast Conference's Western Pennsylvania teams. With the wins against Saint Francis and Robert Morris this weekend, the Bobcats improve to 4-14 (2-3 NEC). The Red Flash falls to 4-15 (2-4 NEC). The wins are the Bobcats' first consecutive victories since winning three straight in October 2005 against Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner and Providence.
After falling in the first set, 25-21, the Bobcats responded with a 25-21 victory in the second and a pair of 25-20 decisions in the third and fourth sets, to clinch the match.
"Putting together back-to-back wins against two solid opponents is a big step for our program," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Robin Sparks. "I like the poise we showed in tough moments; we needed to do that to prove to ourselves that we can make the big plays when we need them."
Amanda Armstrong (Waukesha, Wis.) had a team-high 11 kills and two blocks. Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) led the Bobcats with 21 digs, while Ashley Kopacki (Mount Olive, N.J.) contributed a career-high six service aces. Kelby Carey (Surfside, Calif.) narrowly missed her second double-double of the weekend with nine kills and 12 digs.
After falling in the first set, the Bobcats used a critical 6-0 run on Lawler's serve to take a 22-17 advantage late in the second set. The Red Flash closed to within two points at 23-21, but Armstrong contributed a kill and a service ace to knot the match at 1-1.
The Bobcats never trailed in the final two sets. In the third, Stephanie Biediger's (Houston, Texas) kill to make it 2-1 and service ace to make it 3-1 put the Bobcats ahead for good. The lead swelled to four points at 5-1 on Biediger's serve, before increasing to five points, 9-4, on consecutive Kopacki service aces. The lead fluctuated between two and five points the rest of the way, before the Bobcats put the set away, 25-20.
The Bobcats again used Biediger's serve to jump out in front of the Red Flash, 7-1, in the clinching fourth set. Armstrong had three kills and a block in an early, tone-setting 6-0 run. After Saint Francis closed to within one point at 18-17, the Red Flash was deflated by a service error and the Kopacki service ace that followed. The Bobcats pulled ahead, 21-17, on Kopacki's serve, though the Red Flash stayed tough, pushing it to 22-20. But a Saint Francis attack error, followed by consecutive Quinnipiac kills by Armstrong and Nicole Rosenkilde (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) clinched the match.
The Bobcats return to non-conference action Wednesday when they travel to Worcester, Mass., looking to avenge a season-opening 3-0 defeat at Holy Cross. First serve from Holy Cross Field House is scheduled for 7 p.m.