BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. – When all hope had seemed lost in the fourth, the Quinnipiac women's volleyball team battled their way into the fifth set but ultimately fell to St. Francis Brooklyn, 3-2, on Wednesday night from Genovesi Court. Trailing 23-18 in the fourth set, the Bobcats showed incredible heart and rattled off seven consecutive points to force a decisive final set. The Terries however proved too much in the fifth as they claimed the victory (17-25, 25-12, 25-20, 23-25, 15-8) to improve to 3-6 while the Bobcats fall to 0-6 on the season.
Wednesday's match marked many first time achievements for this Bobcat squad starting with freshman setter Emma Ogden (Crown Point, Ind.) who compiled a season-high 39 assists. The assist total is the most for any Quinnipiac player in a match since Kayla Lawler posted 41 back on Oct. 30, 2011. Ogden also chipped in five digs and three total blocks to complete her sensational night. The Bobcats also compiled a season-high 41 kills with three players each going for double figures. Junior Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.) led the way with 12 kills while the freshmen duo of Katie Urycki (Chesterton, Ind.) and Allison Leigh (Palmer, Alaska) chimed in with 11 and 10, respectively. The three Bobcats in double figures marked the first time since Oct. 1, 2011 that Quinnipiac has had as many players register at least 10 kills in a match.
The match started with plenty of momentum for the Bobcats as they ripped out of the gates on a 7-1 run, due in large part to the blocking efforts of Leigh who combined with Urycki twice and Ogden once for three blocks early in the first set. After a Terrier timeout, play evened as St. Francis closed the gap to 13-10 but the Bobcats tallied eight straight points to take a commanding lead. Leigh once again loomed large as she tallied one block and one kill while Celestin smashed two kills in the 8-0 run. Quinnipiac closed out the set on a kill from sophomore Chandler Thornton (Arlington, Texas) in a 25-17 victory.
The next two sets sent the momentum back to the Terrier end as St. Francis picked up a dominating 25-12 victory in the second. The Bobcats and Terriers played evenly through 9-9 but the road team then claimed 16 of the final 19 points of the set to take the commanding set win. Once again in the third, the set was played evenly in the opening stages but a decisive 7-2 run late in the second opened the door to a 25-20 Terrier victory.
St. Francis carried their momentum into the fourth set and seized control with a five point advantage late as the score read 23-18. With the Terrier faithful on their feet ready to cheer the home team's victory, the Bobcats proved they weren't going down with a fight. Junior Brittanie Robinson (Fresno, Calif.) started the run with a kill and then Urycki chimed in with a pair sandwiched between a Terrier error to close the gap to one point. The Bobcat bench leapt to their feet after a resounding block from Leigh and Ogden and won the set with a service ace from Celestin, 25-23.
In the Bobcats' first five set match of the season, they started strong once again behind the serving of Celestin as she pushed her team ahead 3-2 early. St. Francis then proved too much as their offensive attack led a late run that had the Terriers winning 11 of the final 15 points to take the victory.
Senior libero Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) was all over the court as she posted a season-high 16 digs while Urcyki notched three service aces to go along with six digs and three total blocks. Leigh continued her strong defensive play for the Bobcats with a season-high six total blocks despite the defeat.
The Bobcats will have a quick turnaround as they travel to Pa. for the Lehigh/Lafayette Crosstown Tournament. Quinnipiac will look to exact some revenge as they start the tourney with St. Francis Brooklyn on Friday followed by a match against host Lehigh.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com