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Hawks battle the Bobcats: Intrastate rivals face off.


By David F.P. [Modest 2008 Hartford Volleyball Image Gallery]

WEST HARTFORD, CT- The University of Hartford Volleyball opened the home season in search in their second win.The visiting Quinnipiac Bobcats were also looking for their second win of the season. The crowd was small, but rowdy in Hartford’s cozy Volleyball only Gymnasium inside the Reich Family Pavilion.

Set 1

Hartford served into the net to open the match and it was Quinnipiac ahead by 1.Lindsay Ford got the Hawks o the board when she spiked the ball to the floor. Teammate Michelle Cordell added to that with a kill just in bounds to the defense’s left corner. Alyssa Naylor responded for QU with a tap over followed by a Hartford miscue to make it 2-2.Naylor and Kayla Lawler then combined on a block. A serve out of bounds by the Bobcats tied the game back up. Jenna Benigno and Naylor combined on a block to put the visitors back on top. Three defensive mistakes on the part of the Bobcats gave UHa 3 straight points and a 6-4 lead, though the home team served into the net, and a spike kill from Stephanie Biediger tied the score for Quinnipiac.

A Hartford spike to a gap in the defense, and a misplay on the ensuring exchange extended the lead for the red and white.QU responded by whacking an attack off the defense and out of bounds for a point, but UHa’s Sydney Scott picked up a block to keep the lead at 2.A Hawks error cut the lead, but Cordell delivered a big kill in on the following play. Biediger had her own spike in response on the next point, but Erin Macro got in on the scoring for Hartford with a smash out of the defenders and out. Two UHa spikes into the net would tie things back up and Quinnipiac would go ahead 11-12 following that. Hartford picked up four more points on four errors by QU to put to take a 15-12 lead.

On the next volley back and forth, it became quite a battle between the two sides, including a great defensive save by Boss. Unfortunately it was for naught as QU eventually won the point. An attack whapped out of bounds put QU back within 1, but Macro unleashed another big kill. Shelagh Dolan kept the Bobcats in it when she tapped the ball over the net only to have UHa not be able to set up a return. A spike out of bounds by the Hawks on the next play tied things back up 16-16.

Hartford set out to close the door and Maddison Molyneux got a kill sending a spike through the blockers to start the run.A time out by QU didn’t stop the momentum as a Bobcat error, and then a Hallie Fullager smash attack put Hartford up 19-16.

Quinnipiac scored on a serve out of bounds by the home team, but Fullagar’s precision spike just in bound to the defense’s left corner kept the lead at 3.The two sides traded points including a well placed QU spike just in bounds. With the score now 21-18, Naylor hammered a shot in front of the middle defense to make it 21-19, and Biediger stepped up to serve. Her service hit the net and dropped nicely into a gap in the Hartford return formation for the Ace.The next serve went out of bounds and it was 22-20 Hartford.UHa served into the net to put things at 22-21, but Macro ricocheted her spike off a defender and into the seats to make it 23-21.QU picked up another point when Hartford served out of bounds, but they’re advantage was negated by a serve into the net on their part. With the score now 24-22, Macro served a spike to the defense’s right corner which they avoided thinking it would land out…it didn’t. Macro picked up the point, the ace, and Hartford got the win in set 1, 25-22.

Set 2

Quinnipiac led things off when Biediger served up an ace when the defense misplayed her service and it was 1-0, but a serve into the net following that tied things up.The two teams traded some errors, though Hartford sent some spikes sailing out of bounds in succession to give QU a 2-4 lead.On the ensuing battle for a point Molyneux ended the back and forth with a spike kill, though they would give up a point on the next exchange. The Hawks started scoring though and Molyneux, Cordell, andScott all delivered attacks top put their team up 6-5.Macro got in on the scoring action as well when she served an Ace off the Bobcats and out of bounds.Two Hartford errors tied the game back up, but Boss came up with a great save on the second point even though eventually QU picked up the score. Another furious battle for points ensured ended by Biediger bouncing her spike off the Hawks into the seats.

A trio of Quinnipiac errors put the home team in the lead 10-8, though Biediger’s attack and a UHa spike into a net evened things back up. Cordell regained the lead slamming the ball in on the defense, and a QU error put Hartford up 12-10. QU’s Kelby Carey delivered a well placed kill just in bounds to cut the lead to 1, and then proceeded to team with Naylor on a block.Fullagar had a kill in response to retake the lead, but the pair of Carey and Naylor’s block tied things back up.

The Hawks went on a run with Macro picking up two points with her kill, and she combined with Molyneux on a block (though that differs from the official scoring).Two other QU errors, and only one Quinnipiac point amidst that run put the score at 14-18. Though two Hartford errors returned the lead to only 2 at 16-18.Lawler than served and her effort was not set up right by the Hawks The ace was hers and the lead was only 1, 17-18.Molyneux’s big spike rained down on the QU defense on the next play and they had no response, but Carey had a kill of her own following that. The game was tied when UHa blocked a QU attack out of bounds, but Cordell hit a kill off the blockers to the floor to make it 19-20.The Bobcats would benefit from an error on the home team and then Biediger and Naylor would combine on a block to take the lead.A spike out of bounds by UHa made the score 22-20 and lead to a Hawks time out.

When play resumed Quinnipiac block a ball out of bounds, but recovered when Biediger knocked a kill from the right side to the left middle area of the Hawk’s formation. Cordell wasn’t about to let that stand and unleashed her own drive into the QU zone.A big battle ensued on the next pint but Carey smashed one in to put QU within one.Fullagar knocked a shot cross court to and just in bounds, and Macro also came up with a precision attack just within the lines to tie things up. Biediger attacked on the next play though and it hit the net flying behind the defenders.

Jenna Benigno then finished the job she spiked through the blockers to end it 26-24 for the visitors. QU-1, Hartford-1

Set 3.

With the sweep out of reach for either team, it was now just a matter of winning.The Hawks exploded out of the gate with Fullager whamming the ball off the blockers for point number 1.Macro and Ford then had a block for point and Macro went solo on another block to make it 3-0.Following the longest back and forth of the day QU got on the board when Biediger set a ball into the Hartford side and they couldn’t set up the return. But Macro spiked a shot in on the next play to make it 4-1. A pair of Hawk errors put QU back within 1, but their own error brought the score to 5-3.QU picked up another point off a Naylor kill, but Macro dropped the hammer with a furious smash into the Bobcats. Molyneux then used finish to tap an attack over which the defense, despite diving, could not return.

3 consecutive Hartford errors tied the game back up 7-7, but the Hawks did not let that faze them.QU served into the net and then sent a smash out of bounds, to put UHa up by 2, and Bettina Woodman served up an Ace to make it 10-7. Fullagar then found a defensive set that mistakenly went over the net and into her waiting arms. She tapped it back catching the QU defense unable to respond.Woodman picked up a second ace of the sequence off the hands of the defense to make it 12-7.The Hawks would commit two errors to end the run and Naylor would unleash a shot to make it 12-10, but the home team was beginning to pull away.Fullagar used force on a spike, and then finesse on a tap over to pick up two points. Biediger responded with another kill, but Cordell came up with the block on the next play to keep the lead at 4, 15-11. Macro’s next spike attack worked when two defenders ran into each other attempting to play it.Boss then served an ace in which flew off the D and out of bounds with authority. Quinnipiac called a timeout.

It didn’t work as Boss picked up another ace when her serve sailed between two defenders. Carey did not let that stop her from knocking a spike off the defenders, though a QU spike out of bounds would keep the Hartford lead at 7, 19-12.Carey attacked again picking up the team’s 13th point. During the next exchange Lindsay Ford came up with a huge defensive save to keep the ball in play, and Molyneux eventually smashed one off the defense and out. Macro picked up another kill for herself to bring things to 21-14, but a serve outside the lines and a Hartford misplay put QU back within 5, 21-16. Molyneux rocketed a shot in to make it 22-16, but a misplay by UHa gave a point back.Cordell and Molyneux blocked a Bobcat assault on the next play, but the Hawks spike an attack out of bounds to keep the lead at 7, 23-18.
Though if they kept swapping points they would win quickly. They only needed two more serves however as following another great defensive save by Ford, Scott delivered a spike in, and Fullagar blasted the ball off a defender dig attempt to close out the set 25-18.Hartford-2, Quinnipiac 1.

Set 4.

Fullagar opened up the proceedings in the set with a smash, but the run ended with Hartford serving into a net. It was 1-1.Macro had another well placed wallop which put the ball in the defense’s left corners and just inside the lien. A serve into the net tied the score again, but Molyneux and Fullagar picked up two kills to build anew lead. The Bobcats responded with a run of their own Benigno smashed a kill off the defense, and then another right through the blockers. Two attack errors by Hartford increased the damage, and it was Benigno again with a spike to make it 4-7.Hartford was not a fan of these developments and Molyneux blasted one off the defense out of bounds. Macro then served up an ace which slammed against the defense and way out of bounds. QU kept the lead alive. Dolan tapped over a stray Hartford set, though her team spiked an attack out on the next play. The lead held however.Despite a fantastic dig by Woodman, Hartford was unable to set up a return to a QU attack, and the lead was 2.Fullagar let loose another well placed spike and it was 8-9, but a Carey attack and another Hawk error extended the lead to 3, 8-11. QU kept building on their momentum with a block from Naylor and Carey (Though it’s not listed as one in the play by play.) A time out by Hartford seemed logical, but when play resumed two more errors put Hartford down by more.

With the score 8-14, the next volley went on, with Fullagar delivering a spike in on the QU defense, and following the point up with another with a tap over of an errant set.Macro then let loose a massive spike and it was 11-14. Hartford served into the net, and Carey struck again to extend the lead back to 11-16, but a pair of QU errors brought the home team back within 3, 13-15.

Naylor picked up a kill, then Molyneux kept her spike just in bounds sending it cross court, but Naylor had a smash of her own in response, though Cordell was happy to hit back with her own kill. It was now 15-18. A Hartford serve barely out of bounds put things at 15-19, but Molyneux again scored on a kill. With the lead down to 3, the home team served into the net and called a time out.

Play resumed with the score 16-20.QU scored again when Hartford tried to finesse a ball over but instead sent it out of bounds.Scott came up with a huge block though on the next score, and Danielle Etta served up an ace to keep up the pressure.Fullagar then sent a blistering attack off the opposing team’s hands and out. It was now 19-21. Carey stepped up with a kill for Quinnipiac’s 22nd point, but Cordell had a blast to keep the lead at only 2.QU then attacked out of bounds and the lead was 1.Naylor didn’t want to open the door anymore than it was and she attacked straight through the blockers.Hartford responded and it was now 22-23. QU spiked a shot out of bounds to tie the score up 23-23 to the joy of the home crowd. Ford then came up with a massive block to take the lead 24-23 and let out a huge yell as the point was signaled.Quinnipiac called a timeout, but when play resumed a QU attack error would end the set and the match 25-23. Hartford 3, Quinnipiac 1.

(Based on eyewitness account. Scoring checked against play by play provided by Sports Information Departments.)