Payne Collects 500th Career Kill; Women's Volleyball Falls To Sacred Heart

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HAMDEN, Conn. – Senior Taylor Payne (Warwick, N.Y.) recorded her 500th career kill on Saturday afternoon, but the Quinnipiac University women's volleyball team dropped three-straight sets (27-25, 25-18, 25-15) to Sacred Heart University at Burt Kahn Court on Mount Carmel Campus.

"The first game we played well," said first-year head coach Kristopher Czaplinski. "Our blocking was there, our defense was great and we came up with timely hits on the offensive side of the ball. Unfortunately, in the second and third games our blocking fell apart, which allowed Sacred Heart to pull away."

The first game featured a back-and-forth affair, where a late rally by the hosting Bobcats nearly granted them a first-set win. Trailing 24-22, QU battled back with three straight points - a kill by Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.), an error by SHU and a second kill by Celestin – to take a 25-24 lead. Unfortunately, the Pioneers responded with three straight points, the final point by a kill Dianis Mercado for the 27-25 triumph. Nonetheless, Payne reached the milestone with QU's 16th point of the set, becoming the fifth player since 2004 to accomplish the feat.

After that, Quinnipiac struggled to regain its composure in the second and third sets. Sacred Heart boasted 25 kills with a respectable .200 hitting percentage to open up substantial leads in both games. Karly Shocky led the Pioneers with 10 kills and six digs on the afternoon. Alisa Mesa paced the offense with 31 assists.

Celestin led the Bobcats with 11 kills, three digs and two blocks. Sophomore Tierra Allen (Sumter, S.C.) added five kills and 15 digs, and freshman Chandler Thornton (Arlington, Texas) chimed in with four kills and 13 digs. Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) collected 12 digs, remaining just one shy of 1,000 for her career. Brittanie Robinson (Fresno, Calif.) dished out 20 assists in the losing effort.

Quinnipiac, now 1-13 overall and 0-5 in the Northeast Conference, has dropped 12 straight to the Pioneers. Prior to the streak though, the Bobcats claimed a 7-0 run of their own. With the win, Sacred Heart improves to 5-15 overall, 3-3 in league competition.

The Bobcats return to action tomorrow afternoon with a short trip up to Central Connecticut State University. First serve is set for 1 p.m. in New Britain, Conn.  

Quinnipiac fans should refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics,, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2012 Quinnipiac Women's Volleyball Schedule will also be available for download at for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.

Contact: Maxx McNall;