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Bobcats face Sacred Heart in part two of the Battle of Connecticut

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Bobcats face Sacred Heart in part two of the Battle of Connecticut

Chris Dacey

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By Michael Dalton

After getting shut out for the third straight time against Central Connecticut State University on Friday night, the Quinnipiac volleyball team (0-5) looked to right its wrongs against a Sacred Heart Pioneer team that was off to a good start with a 3-1 record. One of the Pioneers’ wins came against the Bobcats’ Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) foe Fairfield, a team that the Bobcats haven’t beaten since entering the MAAC in 2013.

After trailing 5-1 to the Pioneers in the first set, the Bobcats inched their way back, going on an 11-6 run after Quinnipiac head coach Kris Czaplinski called an early timeout. The lead was the Bobcats first of the game. In the end, the Pioneers pulled away with the lead to take the first set 25-20 and jump out to a 1-0 lead.

The second set was even more back-and-forth than the first as neither team led by more than five points at one time. It looked the Pioneers would pull away after taking a 23-21 lead, but freshman outside hitter Maggie Baker got two straight kills for the Bobcats.

However, the Bobcats would lose the next two points and they went into the break down 2-0.

The start of the third set looked no different than the previous two until the Bobcats turned the tables on the Pioneers and started to run away with the lead about halfway through the set.

Czaplinski explained after the game that it wasn’t just luck or a sudden change in the team’s attitude. In fact, it was much simpler than that.

“We were just relentless,” Czaplinski said. “The little things that we focus on in practice of being aggressive, serving to certain zones, that’s what happened in set three as opposed to the other sets.”

After they took a 9-8 lead, the Bobcats never looked back winning 25-19 and avoided a sweep for a fourth consecutive match. This was also the first set the Bobcats had won since they beat Army in the first set on Aug. 24.

The fourth set started out back-and-forth once more, but the Pioneers were determined to stop the Bobcats from another unanswered set win and a chance for a comeback win. The Pioneers turned the tables on the Bobcats once more, taking a 7-6 lead and never looking back. The Pioneers won handily in the fourth set 25-16.

“That’s something we got to get back into practice and really work on to make sure that every single game we’re doing those little things and not just one out of four,” Czaplinski said.

The Bobcats aren’t off to the start they hoped for, going 0-6, but one of the few bright spots has been sophomore Morgan Sherwin. Sherwin leads the team in kills the past two games and has past senior Kat Miller for the team lead in kills with 52.

“We always knew that she was a very dynamic person, very athletic,” Czaplinski said. “You can put her anywhere in the front row. You could put her anywhere on the court and she’s going to thrive.”

The Battle of Connecticut will conclude tonight as the Bobcats make their way to the city of New Haven to play the Yale Bulldogs tat 7 p.m.

“In pre-conference, it’s all about getting the team better in certain areas so of course you want to win, but as a coach you want to look for the positives and try to build on that into the next game,” Czaplinski said. “(Yale’s) picked to win their conference. We know it’s a really good team just like Sacred Heart. If we can go point-by-point playing Yale, and doing the little things the right way and trusting the process, that’s what we want to see more than anything else.”

About the Writer
Chris Dacey, Production Manager

Chris Dacey is a junior journalism major from Roxbury, NJ. Within Q30 Television he serves as the Production Manager of the station and a beat reporter...

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