Stags Sweep Bobcats, Snap Four Game Winning Streak

Paul Siracusa

On Saturday, the Fairfield Stags traveled to Hamden, CT to take on the Quinnipiac Bobcats. Quinnipiac entered the game on a four-game winning streak, their longest of the season. The one-seeded Stags looked to extend their winning streak to six consecutive games, without the reigning MAAC Player of the Year KJ Johnson.

During the early stages of the first set, Quinnipiac and Fairfield traded kills highlighted by Aryanah Diaz and Allie Elliott each logging four. However, towards the second half of the set, the Stags recorded four consecutive points on three separate occasions which proved to be insurmountable for the Bobcats to overcome. Fairfield won the first set 25-16.

Although Quinnipiac had a rough first set Ginevra Giovagnoni made her first appearance for the team since Sept. 17. after suffering an abdominal injury. Coach Kyle Robinson was very pleased about Giovagnoni’s return to the court.

“I thought she played spectacular, given she didn’t touch the ball once,”  Robinson joked. “Her presence matters. You want to do things with the best. She’s one of the better players and people want to play with her on the court and have her around. That makes a difference.”

The second set saw Fairfield dominate Quinnipiac as the Bobcats were unable to develop a rhythm for the duration of the match. Quinnipiac’s downfall during this set was committing eight attack errors and recording a -28.7% hitting percentage compared to Fairfield’s one and 47.8%. Fairfield won the second set 25-10. Robinson saw these points as issues during the second set.

“I wasn’t disappointed with our effort, we played hard,” Robinson said. “We just gave up way too many points off of service, didn’t pressure them enough, didn’t pass well, and didn’t score enough points in the first two sets which is a recipe for failure in our set.”

Quinnipiac was able to roar back in the third set, as the score was between three points for much of the game. The Bobcats scoring attack was more well-balanced as Nicole Legg, Giorgia Donghi, Yagmur Gunes, and Lexi Morse each recorded two kills.

However, despite the more balanced attack that saw Quinnipiac commit more kills and fewer attack errors than Fairfield, it was not enough for the Bobcats to win. The Stags won the final set 25-22. Despite the lopsided loss against a difficult opponent, Robinson would not call this game a low moment. 

“I don’t think this was a low moment at all. I think this is a great loss, to be honest with you,” Robinson said. To get production out of that lineup we had in the third set is good for us and will be problematic for most teams in our conference because now they must put in a lot more work to find out what Quinnipiac is going to do and what the lineup will be. Now, had we come out there and not competed, then I would have a huge problem.”

Diaz led Quinnipiac with 14 kills, Damla Gunes recorded 29 assists, and Faave Kimsel-Moe had eleven digs in the loss. Sara Daniels and Allie Elliott proved to be more than enough, recording eleven and eight kills respectively to minimize the loss of Johnson. 

The Bobcats will look to bounce back against Manhattan in Riverdale on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m.