HAMDEN, Conn. – Freshman Katie Urycki (Chesterton, Ind.) led the Bobcats with 10 kills on Saturday afternoon, but it was the Niagara University Purple Eagles who prevailed with a 3-0 (22-25, 22-25, 15-25) win at Burt Kahn Court on Mount Carmel Campus.
With the loss, Quinnipiac fell to 4-15 overall and 2-5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Niagara collected just its second win on the season and improved to 2-17 overall and 1-7 in league play.
Quinnipiac saw double-digits kills from Urycki and 26 assists from freshman setter Emma Ogden (Crown Point, Ind.), but in the end too many errors plagued the Bobcats attack. Quinnipiac committed 20 attacking errors and eight errors on the serve, which granted the Purple Eagles a significant advantage in the match.
In the first set, Quinnipiac led for most of the frame until a late surge by Niagara put the visitors on top. Urycki and Bonnie Conklin (Plano, Texas) combined for a block to make the score 20-18 in favor of the home team, but five straight points from Niagara gave the Purple Eagles their first lead of the match, and an advantage that they would not relinquish. Urycki paced the Bobcat attack with five kills in the opening clash.
Niagara kept the momentum going in the second set, doubling Quinnipiac up by a score of 14-7 midway through the stanza. The Bobcats managed to rally off five straight points to cut their deficit to just one, 18-17, but Niagara fired back with five unanswered of its own to take a commanding lead. Jamie Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) finished with a set-high four kills to lead Quinnipiac's attack.
In the third and final frame, QU and NU made its way to a 6-6 deadlock before the momentum shifted drastically in favor of the Purple Eagles. Niagara recorded 10 of the next 11 points and took a 17-7 advantage. The Purple Eagles coasted to a three-set victory and improved to 3-0 all-time against the Bobcats.
With 10 smashes in the match, Urycki now has double-digits in kills in four straight matches. She also added five digs and two blocks to her stat line. Paolucci finished with five kills and eight digs, while Tanner Celestin (Norco, Calif.) tallied six kills for the Bobcats. Logan Riker (Bowling Green, Ohio) led the back row with nine digs.
The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 13 with the backend of the weekend double-header. Quinnipiac welcomes Canisius to Burt Kahn Court for a 1 p.m. showdown with the Griffs. Fans that are unable to make it to Mount Carmel Campus can follow all the action live on Quinnipiac's YouTube page.
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