Volleyball extends winning streak to three against Siena, 3-0

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Volleyball extends winning streak to three against Siena, 3-0

Juliana Nikac and Bryan Murphy

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The Quinnipiac volleyball team continued to find success in Hamden, as they won their third straight home game against Siena College to remain undefeated on the home court. The Bobcats (5-13 overall, 4-1 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) defeated the opposing Saints (0-15 overall, 0-4 MAAC) by scores of 25-21, 25-23, and 25-16. Despite Siena not winning a set all year, they gave the Bobcats a battle all game.

“The thing we keep telling this team is don’t underestimate anyone,” head coach Kris Czaplinski said. “It’s a Division I team and we can’t go into any game thinking we are going to destroy them. We just let our players figure it out.”

Quinnipiac was led by senior Elizabeth Kloos, junior Kat Miller, and sophomore Natalie Alechko, all tied with 10 kills apiece. Alechko also led in digs with nine and sophomore setter Maria Pansari added 31 assists. Additionally, Czaplinski praised his freshmen, Michelle Cuervo and Morgan Sherwin, for coming off the bench and contributing.

“[Cuervo and Sherwin] played really aggressive and they got us some great points,” Czaplinski said. “They didn’t shy away from the competition, which is great to see. We’re definitely going to need them going down this long stretch right now.

The Bobcats came out flying, going up 6-0 on the Saints in the first game due to excellent serving, and also poor serve receive by Siena. However, Siena came back and didn’t make it easy for the Bobcats, as the set ended 25-21 in Quinnipiac’s favor.

There was some nervous tension in the air, as Miller was seen on the sideline before set two, with the trainer attending to her ankle. However, Miller was able to return to the game and continued to play.

“I don’t really know what happened,” Miller said. “I thought I had landed on one of my teammate’s feet, but I guess I just rolled my ankle. It just hurt on the outside and I couldn’t jump. I had to just play back row.”

Siena continued to pester Quinnipiac, as set two was a back and forth battle, as neither side could pull ahead from the other. There was never more than a four-point difference between the two, but eventually the Bobcats prevailed 25-23.

However, Kloos stepped it up for the Bobcats, getting eight of her ten kills in game three and leading the team to a 25-16 set win, and another victory. Despite the win, Miller was critical of the team’s play.

“[Siena] came back at a lot of points, but we just didn’t play well. Our skills weren’t there today. I mean they came back and had a lot of energy and that helped them.”

This may have been a result of the absence of star hitter, junior Jen Coffey. It was the first game for Quinnipiac without Coffey, who had gone down with an ankle injury previously against Rider. However, Czaplinski did not feel as though the team was impacted too badly by missing his hitter.

“We have everything we need on this team. If someone goes down, we can take someone off the bench and do a great job contributing.”

The Bobcats hope to have Coffey returning to them soon, as they put their three-game winning streak at stake against MAAC-leading Niagara University (8-5 overall, 4-0 MAAC) on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. in Niagara Falls, New York.