By David F.P.
HAMDEN, CT- In a massively competitive match, the Quinnipiac Bobcats edged the Hartford Hawks in 3 straight sets all 27-25, to win their first game of the season.
Hartford pulled out to a lead but Quinnipiac battled to a 17-17 tie and the back and forth continued until Quinnipiac picked up a 27-25 set win.
Hartford: Kami Nethersole picked up an early kill, a block by Sydney Scott and Lindsay Ford followed soon, whap by Scott off D and out of bounds, Scott sent a kill flying off the defenders and way out. Good save by Ford, but the points went to QU, Nethersole lined up and delivered a big kill, Scott crushed a ball from the net, Nethersole’s spike was blocked out of bounds, Dionna Kirton’s kill bounced off a bobcat, hit the ceiling and sent defenders sprawling as they tried to get it, Nethersole broke a QU scoring run with a cross court kill, and she hammered another kill off the defending blockers, Kirton regained the lead after QU tied it with a kill, Kirton struck again late to regain a lead, Cordell tied it back up with a spike which the D mishandled, Nethersole responded with a kill to tie it at 25,
Quinnipiac: Grattan whacked a ball of the block to the floor. Huge kill by Armstrong past the D, after a Hartford run, Armstrong got them back on the board with a smash, a service ace by Ashley Kopacki helped, Kelby Carey ran up, jumped and sent a missile flying into the Hartford zone a few points later, the Bobcats also benefited from some Hartford attack errors, Grattan struck after a few Hawks points with a blast, a service Ace from Kayla Lawler hit the net and dropped in, Taylor Payne knocked a ball off the blockers, Armstrong tied it back up with another jumping smash, Stephanie Biediger tied it late with a cross court rocket, Grattan delivered a power filled kill, Grattan then regained the lead with a kill, Carey then sent a shot down the line, and put down an overpass.
It was a back and forth affair from the start, though Hartford started to build a lead reaching 18-14 before QU called a time out. The set then ended up at 18-21 and Hartford called a time out. Quinnipiac kept coming and pulled to a 22-21 lead before another Hartford time out. QU got to 24, but Hartford battled back to 24 as well. They kept battling until a one two punch put QU up 27 to 25 for the set win.
Hartford: Nethersole hurricaned a spike into the zone, a service Ace by Cordell added a second point, Nethersole and Scott combined on a block, Nethersole added another kill, Scott and Makowicki shared a block, Scott later served up an Ace off the D, Cordell won a joust at the net and put the ball down, the dangerous Nethersole struck from the left side and whisked one in, and followed that up by pounding another in, Ford sent the ball in from the net with effect, then she stepped back to serve and picked up the Ace on a QU return miscue, and it wasn’t long again before Nethersole put an end to a long back and forth, Scott took a pass and hit it in, Cordell and Lindsay Swan then shared a block, Cordell bashed back the return on one of her own spikes, one of many good saves by Etta kept the ball in play, Kirton saved a return to her own kill but QU got the point, Cordell prevented a set loss ending a long back and forth with a kill off the hands, Nethersole then dropped the hammer, Kirton’s service ace followed bouncing off a defender tying the set at 24. Nethersole tied it back up with yet another kill.
Quinnipiac: Biediger’s spike got the the defense to trip over themselves, Biediger scored the 2nd QU point as well, Payne wrapped the ball around the antenna for a kill to the gap, Carey whacked a kill from the net, Armstrong’s light attack bounced off a defender’s hands and out of play, Carey’s tap was not returnable by the defense, Biediger walloped a kill from the net, Grattan crushed one off the block attempt, Payne and Grattan won a joust at the net as well, and later Carey ended a long rally with a shot, a good save by Biediger set up Payne tapping the ball over the front line, Armstrong took a perfect set and pushed it down for a point, Biediger knocked a kill off the blockers and out, and then did the same on the next point, Armstrong then attacked and it bounced off multiple Hawks before hitting the floor, Grattan than kabonged a kill to the back, Biediger hit another in, and then to take the lead she found a gap to knock the white orb into, Armstrong then sent an Ace flying through the D’s hands, Grattan then struck again, and her attack flew off multiple hands on the way out of bounds, and then she responded again with a wallop, to end the set Payne hit the kill.
The set opened with an exchange of points, Hartford pulled out to a 12-9 lead after that, and then a 14-10 lead, which got Quinnipiac to call a time out to regroup, but the game moved to 18-14, but QU fought it to 19-19. QU then surged to a 22-19 lead, Hartford battled back to a 22-22 tie, but a miscue put QU up 1, and the two fought to 25-25, until QU scored a 27-25 win.
Quinnipiac: Payne won a joust at the net to open the scoring, Payne bounced a kill off the Hawks, and another attack by her was not returned, and yet again she struck receiving a set and lining it up, Riker came up with a good save to keep the ball going, but a miscue later got the point to Hartford, Lawler took a set spun and knocked it past the blocking line to regain the lead, Biedgier’s smashed was knocked off the D and out of play, Grattan whammed the ball in at the net, and a Payne block lead the Hawks to misplay the return, Biediger then landed a kill just in bounds to cut things to three and a Hartford error cut it to two, Armstrong threaded a kill just in play as to keep the deficit at 2, but some miscues later and a Biediger tap attack, put QU up 2, then another point followed, Payne then ended a Hartford comeback with a hit just in bounds. Quinnipiac was up at 24, but Hartford hit 3 straight points to make it 25-24. A serve into the net made it 25-25. Grattan then struck, and Biediger’s serve flew off a dig attempt out to make it 27-25
Hartford: Good save by Ford kept ball in play, later Cordell, came up with a save though QU struck, later Etta and Nethersole had good saves but once again QU struck, Nethersole used finesse to get on the board poking the ball past the defense, Etta then served up a nice ace in front of the defense to tie the score at 5, Nethersole fought the ball through the Quinnipiac block, and Scott then struck on the next play with a whack, Cordell then just landed a serve in bounds, Cordell and Nethersole both had key plays on the next play but a hit into the net gave a point to QU, Nethersole stretched the lead again with a speedy bullet across the defensive zone, and Ford’s serve was not an Ace per se but the D couldn’t get it back into play, after a brief QU rally, Nethersole yet again sent the ball bouncing off Bobcats and out of play, Etta’s serve was not returned next as well, on the next serve Etta had several saves, but an errant Hawks attack sailed out, Cordell stopped the latest QU comeback with a hyper blast down the line, Cordell sent another rapid kill cross court, Nethersole then delivered a kill, and Kirton’s serve hit the net dropping in for an Ace and tying it up, but Hartford picked up another kill, and then Nethersole blasted another kill to tie it, and Cordell’s serve bounced off the defender’s dig attempt to take the 25-24 lead.