Volleyball drops fifth straight game to Iona, 3-1

Juliana Nikac

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Photo: Samantha Bashaw

Photo: Samantha Bashaw

Marking it’s fifth straight loss, the Quinnipiac women’s volleyball team fell to Iona 3-1 at their home court Saturday. The Bobcats (6-19 overall, 5-7 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) continue to struggle with minimizing errors, as veteran players are still absent in the rotation due to injury. Capitalizing on Bobcat mistakes, the Gaels (9-14 overall, 7-4 MAAC) utilized their key offensive players to power through to another MAAC victory. 

“When you lose players as talented as Kat (Miller), Jenny (Coffey) for a while…you struggle to find your identity being such a young team,” Quinnipiac head coach Kris Czaplinski said. 

The Bobcats started the afternoon by claiming the first set against the Gaels. Beginning with back and forth scoring, the Bobcats were able to take advantage of attack errors by the Gaels, who ended that set with a -0.053 hitting percentage. 

The second set began with a significant delay, as Iona was having difficulty figuring out their rotational positions. However, that did not hinder them at all. The Gaels’ offense began to swing more effectively, finding holes in the young Bobcat rotation that powered them to a 25-17 win. 

The final two sets continued the trend of back and forth scoring to begin, but powerful swings by Iona outside hitters Claire Archibald (19 kills) and Jaime Smith (nine kills), who collected her fifth MAAC Rookie of the Week title recently, prompted the Gaels to take the lead. 

Due to the injuries of veteran players, the Bobcats’ rotation consisted of four freshmen in the fourth set. While the exposure to the game is great for the future of the Bobcats’ organization, it is hindering their success this season. 

“It’s great at one point, but at the second, they don’t know where to go. They see their captains on the bench…we need to get that leadership going and apply it in the game” Czaplinski said. 

Regardless of the loss, sophomore Natalie Alechko continues to be the silver lining in the Bobcats’ current situation. Leading the team again in kills and points scored, she is evolving into the leader that the Bobcats need to snap their losing streak. 

“She’s been great,” Czaplinski said. “She’s one of those girls who is stepping into that leadership role, and I think the future is very bright moving forward.” 

Other notable contributions in this game came from sophomore Kaleigh Oates and freshman Morgan Sherwin. Although very young, Oates was able to wrack up 10 points on the day alongside of Sherwin, whose hits found the floor eight times this afternoon. 

In order to win games, the Bobcats must be able to put the ball down. Totaling 29 attack errors and executing only a .063 hitting percentage, Quinnipiac looks to improve their youthful offense in coming games to try and clinch a playoff spot. If they are successful in this pursuit, the injured veterans may be able to make a return right when it really matters. 

“In hindsight, I know losing sucks. Nobody wants to lose, but at the end of the day we know we have a young group of girls who are really talented,” Czaplinski said. 

While being snake bitten with injuries, the Bobcats continue to compete at the highest level. They look to break their losing streak as they face Manhattan College (1-22 overall, 1-9 MAAC) on Sunday, October 22 at 1 p.m.