Quinnipiac’s Women’s Volleyball Team Makes their First NCAA Appearance

Brittney Bronleben

The Quinnipiac Bobcats took the flight over to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin, who won the tournament last year, was ranked no. one in the nation. The Bobcats were unranked and entered the tournament from their underdog win against Fairfield in the MAAC tournament. The Badgers swept Quinnipiac three sets to none.

Quinnipiac made history this season, by qualifying for the first time in the NCAA tournament. They also made history by being the lowest-ranked team to win a MAAC Championship. In the MAAC tournament, the no. sixth-ranked Bobcats pulled off multiple upsets, which included the championship win.

In the first set of the NCAA tournament, Wisconsin took the win 25-15, with the Bobcats closely trailing. The Badgers made 11 errors, which helped keep Quinnipiac fighting in the set. The Bobcats also had four kills being scored by Lexi Morse, Yagmur Gunes, and two from Aryanah Diaz. Wisconsin’s Devyn Robinson also had six kills in the first set.

In the second set, Wisconsin took a bigger lead winning 25-9. Wisconsin adjusted to the Bobcats and cleaned up their game. Wisconsin only made three errors compared to Quinnipiac’s 10.

The third again went to the Badgers with a score of 25-4. Wisconsin by this point knew how to control the set and Quinnipiac started to fall apart. Two of Quinnipiac’s points were errors from Wisconsin. The last two kills from the Bobcats were from Morse and Nicole Legg.

By the end of the match, the Bobcats had a hitting percentage of -.144 compared to the Badger’s .341. Wisconsin also out-blocked Quinnipiac 10-0. The team errors were Wisconsin’s 10 to Quinnipiac’s 25. Legg, Morse, Gunes and Ginevra Giovagnoni lead the Bobcats each with two kills. The Badger’s kill leader was Robinson with 11 and Caroline Crawford led the match with six blocks. 

Quinnipiac’s women’s volleyball head coach, Kyle Robinson was “thankful for the opportunity” and grateful for how Wisconsin treated them and how the NCAA treated everyone in the tournament.

Robinson said he was “proud of his team” and thought they played a good two sets. 

“And from my experience and understanding of the game, the third set was as it should,” said Robinson. “When you got a beast of a team as Wisconsin, when you’re rolling the inertia keeps going.” 

Even though the Bobcat’s season came to an end, they had played a great season. They made their presence known as a volleyball program.

“Hats off to Quinnipiac, what a great season. They started the conference season 2-7 in the first half and in the second half went 8-1,” said Wisconsin’s head coach, Kelsey Sheffield 

“I’ve been doing this a long time and don’t know if I’ve seen a team flip it like that and go on to the conference tournament and start seeded sixth and win it all. Then everyone in there saw tonight how they came out and weren’t going to flinch” continued Sheffield.

The Bobcats will take what they learned from this season and use it to get them ready for next year. 

“We have a good foundation right now and I think it’s going to get better with the girls we bring in,” Diaz said.