By David F. Pendrys (Stats checked against official athletics department release.) [Modest Image Gallery]
HAMDEN, CT- The Quinnipiac Bobcats lost their home opener 3 sets to zero at the hands of the Providence Friars Wednesday Night on Kahn court despite a spirited effort in front of a large home crowd including their longtime hat wearing male cheerleader.
The visitors took set one 25 to 18. Providence obtained a lead fairly quickly with offense from Annie Russian, Mackenzie Ziegler, Colleen McCollom, and Kayla Fitzgerald. Quinnipiac didn’t make it easy pulling within 2 points multiple times though the Friars never surrendered the advantage. For Quinnipiac Allison Leigh, Chandler Thornton were responsible for several kills, and Leigh even added a service ace, as did Emma Ogden. PC’s Jordan Wiesler picked up a few late points, as did Russian. Ziegler smacked a pair of kills crosscourt late to help seal the match as well.
In set 2, QU responded to pull out to a 5-1 lead including points from Katie Urycki’s service ace, and more spikes from Thornton and Leigh. This hot start would later become a 15-11 advantage. PC surged back with 6 straight points to take the lead for themselves. QU errors helped the Friars make the comeback but so did Russian’s ace and a block from Lindsay Witt. The Bobcats pursued and the set evened at 23. Ziegler tapped the ball over the net to the floor for a 24-23 score. On set point her teammates Wiesler and Russian came up with the block to stuff a Bobcat attack and take the set.
Set 3 started evenly, but a 4 point run for the Friars put them out ahead 9 to 4. Russian and Wiesler played a major role including Wiesler’s fake set deception for a much needed early point. Ziegler and Witt shared a block during this effort as well. Quinnipiac responded with two quick points courtesy of Brittanie Robinson, but their opponents added 5 more and the score was a daunting 14-6. The home team rallied for two more points, but the black and white’s had 3 to stymie the comeback.
The score soon was 19-14 despite Leigh and Urycki both adding to their scoring lines. Russian and Ziegler’s block touched off another scoring run, and Ziegler had two successive service aces to put the team within 3 of the match win. QU held them off briefly as Urycki threaded a smash through the blocking line, but Fitzgerald ended the set with a light touch to a gap in QU’s defense, and as a the ball bounced onto the court floor, the match went for PC.
Turning to the stat leaders, Ziegler led Providence with 13 kills but a .188 kill %. Russian was more efficient in her 6 kills snagging a .556 kill percentage. McCollom had 7, Fitzgerald 6, and Wiesler 4. Wiesler also had 32 assists. Ziegler had 2 of the team’s aces. The libero Michelle Cruz accumulated 15 digs, and Witt participated in 4 blocks on the night.
For Quinnipiac, Leigh had 10 kills and .412 kill percentage, Thornton picked up 7, and Robinson 5. Ogden hustled for 24 assists and 11 digs, and Logan Riker had 10 digs herself. Urycki led the team in Aces with 2. Leigh shared 3 blocks and had a solo block.
With the win Providence is now 2-2 and Quinnipiac is 0-5. The Bobcats face former conference foe Saint Francis of New York in Brooklyn next Wednesday.