Quinnipiac Women’s Volleyball Moves onto the MAAC Tournament Semifinals

Ashley Potvin

On Tuesday, the Bobcats traveled to Orlando, Florida to the ESPN Wide World of Sports for the MAAC Tournament. Since then, they have been preparing for their matchup against the Iona University Gaels, which took place on Thursday.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s volleyball team ended their regular season 11-14 in overall play and 10-8 in conference play, which allowed for them to match up with Iona in the second round of the tournament.

The first set was one of back-and-forth action. The Gaels had the ball first; however, it was immediately served into the net, giving the Bobcats the first point. Both of these teams traded points throughout the beginning of the set.

Quinnipiac started to run away with the lead before the Gaels went on a four-point run after taking a timeout. This caused Quinnipiac’s head coach Kyle Robinson to call a timeout, as he hoped to ice the server and side-out, and this is exactly what happened.

The Bobcats went on a four-point run with back-to-back aces from first-year Ginevra Giovagnoni, which allowed them to gain a three-point advantage late in the first set. The Gaels caught up quickly with back-to-back aces from junior Tamara Pichardo and a service error from senior Aryanna Diaz of the Bobcats.

Quinnipiac was able to have the advantage of receiving set point although they only led by one. Giovagnoni was able to clinch the set for the Bobcats with a kill.

The Iona Gaels started off the second set on a three-point run and a service ace from Pichardo. Quinnipiac was able to respond with two points; however, the Gaels went on another run and caused Robinson to call a timeout when the score advanced to 7-2.

As they came out of the timeout, Giovagnoni was able to tip the ball and claim the point for the Bobcats. Quinnipiac was able to crawl back within two with sophomore Faavae Kimsel Moe at the service line, but Iona did not go away. The Gaels put their serves and swings where the Bobcats could not receive, and that cost them valuable points.

With the score being 19-12 in favor of Iona, a controversial call was made at the net, which caused Robinson to use his challenge and be successful, which changed the score to 18-13. Although this call was overturned, it ultimately did not matter in the end as Iona took the second set, which allowed the match to become tied 1-1. After the second set, Robinson was eager to claim the next.

“We’ve just got to get back to playing the game we’ve played all season,” Robinson said. “It’s just fighting and scrapping for everything. We’re being a little bit too passive right now and it’s just not our game.”

Similar to the first set, the start of the third set was one in which both teams traded off points. Quinnipiac started to pull away as first-year Yagmur Gunes was at the service line and went on a five-point run.

This lead did not last long as the Gaels went on a run to tie it up at 9-9. Points started to be traded off again throughout the set after it became tied. This occurred for the rest of the set until the Bobcats went on a run and claimed the third set, which gave them the advantage going into the fourth.

Out of the gate in the fourth set, Iona went on a six-point run with three straight aces from Pichardo. The Bobcats were able to secure a point to end this run; however, Iona did not allow them to be in control for long.

The lead extended to 12-3 in favor of Iona, but Quinnipiac was able to climb back and tie it at 14 apiece. The Bobcats continued to hustle on the floor, which caused them to keep up with their run and increase their lead. After being down by nine, Quinnipiac clinched the fourth set and the match 25-17. 

“I think we have great momentum right now,” Diaz said. “Our energy, our attitude, we look great. There’s all smiles right here on the court, so I think if we carry this into tomorrow then it should go our way as well.”

The Bobcats will return to the court Friday Nov. 18 at 2:30 p.m. and take on the Rider University Broncs in the semifinals.