Quinnipiac Fall 3-0 to Undefeated Fairfield

Photo Courtesy: Samantha Bashaw

By: Drew Feinberg

 

The Quinnipiac volleyball team battled to a close 25-22 loss in the first set, but the Fairfield Stags maintained its momentum for the next two sets, earning a 3-0 win on Friday evening (25-22, 25-15, 25-13) at Burt Khan Court. With this win the Stags improved to 12-0 in the MAAC, and picked up the teams 44th consecutive MAAC win.

Fairfield’s Skyler Day, the 2016 MAAC Player of the Year, led both teams with 15 kills. Quinnipiac’s Natalie Alechko has done a stellar job filling in for the injured Jen Coffey, posting 10 kills in this match, and leading the team with 265 on the season. But her efforts weren’t enough.

Quinnipiac head coach Kris Czaplinski credited Fairfield’s play, but added some positive notes towards his team.

“Fairfield is a very good team,” Czaplinski said. “However, if we played like we did the first set where we were aggressive, we’re going to be in every single game.”

Another Bobcat who has stepped up in a big way for the team is sophomore middle hitter Kaleigh Oates.

Oates, who tallied eight kills in this match, has seen a tremendous boost in playing time this season. Replacing injured middle hitter Elizabeth Kloos, Oates has done her job well. Her efforts were highlighted by a career high 16 kills in the team’s last match vs. Manhattan.

“Kaleigh [Oates] has been huge for us,” Czaplinski said. “To go from the outside to the middle, and to be executing the way she does is a coach’s dream.’

With the regular season coming to an end soon, Quinnipiac’s next matchup is Saturday November 4 The team takes to the road to face Rider (8-5 MAAC). The Bobcats defeated Rider 3-1 on September 24 in Hamden.

Playoff Hopes

With four matches left in the season, all of which are MAAC contests, the Bobcats sit at 6-8 in conference play. With the top six teams making the conference tournament, Quinnipiac is now in seventh place behind sixth place Canisius (7-6 MAAC).

Czaplinski and his squad face a tough task in order to make the playoffs. With matchups away against Rider and Saint Peter’s, and home versus Canisius and Niagara, the Bobcats will most likely have to win out in order to secure a playoff position.

Injury Questions

With the end of the regular season nearing, key offensive players Elizabeth Kloos and Jen Coffey are still sidelined with injuries. With no time known for their returns, Quinnipiac fans are left wondering if they will play again this season. If they do, the question that remains is if will they be enough to help the team make the conference tournament.

Four matches remain for the Bobcats, and with all four being “must win’s”, the team is going to need Kloos and Coffey to help the offensive depth, and the team’s overall blocking abilities.

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