AKRON, Ohio – Despite an impressive tournament run from junior libero Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) and a couple all-around gems from senior right side Taylor Payne (Warwick, N.Y.), the Bobcats women's volleyball team lost to Montana St. and Akron at the Akron Invitational on Friday. With the losses, Quinnipiac falls to 0-5 on the year, while Montana St. improves to 3-1 and Akron moved to 2-3 on the season.
The two-day, three-team tournament pitted the Bobcats against the Montana St. Bobcats in the first match of the tournament. The final score had Quinnipiac losing in straight sets, 25-20, 25-9, and 25-15. The Bobcats shot out of the gates filled with emotion as they keep the score within one point, all the way to 15-15 in the first set. Payne paced the Bobcats in the first set with three kills but the Bobcats of Montana St. would end the set on a 10-5 run and claimed the early lead.
The Bobcats would go on to lose the final two sets but a couple of individual performances stood out in the match for Quinnipiac. Riker recorded a game-high 14 digs as the defensive specialist led the way against Montana St. Junior setter Ashley Kopacki (Hackettstown, N.J.) also proved to be effective as her .429 kill percentage (four kills for the match) and 16 assists gave her Bobcats a solid outing. Payne also chipped in with a team-high six kills, six digs, and two blocks for the Bobcats as they would look to bounce back later in game two of the tournament against Akron.
The Zips however took control of the match from the opening point and went on to win 25-10, 25-10, and 25-15. Payne put together another solid outing as she finished with four kills, three assists, two digs and one blocked shot. With 10 kills for the tournament, Payne passed former Bobcat Alyssa Naylor '09 and moved into fifth place in all-time kills for Quinnipiac. Sophomore right side Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.) finished the matchup against Akron with a team-high five kills. Coming off a three-game stretch that placed Riker on the West Point Invitational All-Tournament Team, she finished the Akron Invitational with 18 digs, giving her 920 for her career.
Quinnipiac will next travel to Fairfield in an intra-state non-conference showdown on Tuesday Sep. 5 at 7 p.m.
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