Volleyball swept by Marist, breaking three-game win streak at home

Juliana Nikac and Samantha Bousquet

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Photo: Julia Bava

Photo: Julia Bava

In what was expected to be a thrilling rematch of last year’s MAAC Tournament semifinal, the Quinnipiac volleyball team’s home court success came to a screeching halt after being swept by Marist College. The Bobcats (6-15 overall, 5-3 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) had difficulty scoring, as injuries plagued their top offensive players. The lack of execution by the Bobcats allowed the Red Foxes (7-10 overall, 4-2 MAAC) to grab their fourth MAAC shutout win. 

“We need to go back to the drawing board and figure this out until we get people healthy,” head coach Kris Czaplinski said. 

Absences from tonight’s game included senior captain Elizabeth Kloss and junior Jen Coffey, who are both currently ranked in the top five of Quinnipiac’s all-time kills list. They are currently out due to foot injuries. 

“As of what I know, it’s day to day,” Czaplinski said. “We’re just waiting it out.” 

The majority of the game consisted of back-and-forth scoring. However, the Red Foxes capitalized on the Bobcats’ attack errors to produce scoring streaks that gave them an edge. The Bobcats ended with 26 attack errors, almost double the errors of the Red Foxes. 

“We need to get into some offensive drills where the hitters are feeling confident hitting bad balls and good balls,” Czaplinski said.  

With the Bobcat offense struggling, defensive efforts by Alejandra Rodriguez kept Quinnipiac on the tails of Marist throughout the three sets. Rodriguez ended the night with 13 digs, leading the team defensively. 

“It was great to see” Czaplinski said. “They weren’t backing down, they hustled…The fight was there.” 

Regardless of the end result, Czaplinski was impressed with the way others stepped up in place of their injured teammates. At some points during the game, the Bobcats’ rotation consisted solely of freshmen and sophomores. 

“People have to step up” Czaplinski said. “That’s what it comes down to. We’re all here for a reason and we have to try to follow the game plan.” 

Among the underclassmen to step up in place of her injured teammates was sophomore Natalie Alechko. She led the team with 14 kills and wracked up 11 digs on the night.  

“We couldn’t be happier,” Czaplinski said. “She has so many levels to her. She’s going to keep getting better and better because she wants it.” 

Trying to spark some offensive success alongside of Alechko was freshman Morgan Sherwin. Listed as a setter on the team roster, Sherwin was on the floor swinging tonight. She snatched seven kills and three aces, contributing 11 points overall to the Bobcats. 

Although the efforts made by the underclassmen on the team does not go unnoticed, the Bobcats need to figure out a way to continue their success in the MAAC. If the injuries to their top hitters are going to last longer than expected, their practices need revolve around the adjustments in the rotation. 

“Having a young team out there, you just need to get a lot of reps” Czaplinski said. “We need to do a better job at coaching…Plain and simple.” 

Quinnipiac heads back out on the road and looks to improve their standings in the MAAC as they take on the Fairfield University (11-6 overall, 6-0 MAAC) on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m.