Next Stop, Atlantic City: Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball Ready for Postseason


(Photo: Liz Flynn)

Quinton Hamilton

Head coach Tricia Fabbri and the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team are in familiar territory once again, sitting comfortably at the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings going into the conference tournament.

The Bobcats are in second place, behind Marist, with a conference record of 11-5, and are coming off of a weekend split with Niagara.

Now, they wait.

Conference play around the league will wrap up this weekend, but the Bobcats’ 2020-21 regular season is complete. Securing the two seed means a first-round bye so their next game won’t be until Wednesday, Mar. 10.

The 11-day stretch will be the Bobcats’ second-longest without playing an actual game, sitting just one day short of the 12-day layoff between the Saint Peter’s and Rider series earlier this season.

With all of the time off before its first conference tournament game, the Bobcats have been preparing for whoever they will see in the second round, and depending on how the final few series of the regular season play out, Quinnipiac has the possibility of seeing four or five different teams.

So much uncertainty surrounding matchups means the Bobcats can only focus on themselves for the time being.

“The approach this week is really having the time to concentrate on us,” Fabbri said in a Zoom call with media on Wednesday. “You know, what we’re doing, where we need to improve, where we need to tighten up, and then a couple different wrinkles as well to put in this week.”

When they have days off, they work with strength coaches and athletic trainers to coordinate how to recover and what they do on those light days. But when they have a practice, they are getting right to work, even going a bit “longer and harder” than on a normal day where they would be practicing in anticipation of a weekend series.

“The days we have gone, we have stretched them a bit but nothing out of the ordinary,” Fabbri said. “So we broke it up, I think pretty smartly, in conjunction with what we do with our athletic trainer and our strength and conditioning coach.”

“Strength in numbers” has been the key phrase for the Bobcats this season and Fabbri is expecting much more of the same during the conference tournament. Sophomore Mikala Morris and junior Mackenzie DeWees have led the charge all season but Rose Caverly has found her outside shot and if she can combine that with her consistent playmaking, she will provide another player for opponents to key in on.

When describing her team, Fabbri made it a point to list as many names as she can, going from Morris, DeWees, and Caverly to Amani Free, Sajada Bonner, Cur’Tiera Haywood, and first-year Jillian Casey. Fabbri’s confidence in every single player on her team is apparent and it shows in each individual’s production on the court.

Fabbri has prided herself on keeping her rotation deep for the entire season and now, heading into the postseason, every player — even the rookies — has much-needed experience under their belt in a variety of different situations.

“I think there’s just been a consistency within the rotation and there’s always been a strength in numbers,” Fabbri said. “It’s been nice to know that we’ve had some great individual performances, but it’s also been about the team so we’ll continue to lean on our rotation going forward into [next] Wednesday.”

The Bobcats will be one step closer to finding out their Mar. 10 MAAC quarterfinal matchup this weekend. After the final regular season games, they will begin to prepare to take on the winner of the No. 7 vs No. 10 seed opening-round game on Monday, Mar. 8.