Q30 Television

Q30 Television

Q30 Television

Q30 Television

Q30 Television

Q30 Television

‘This team is ready,’ Bobcats enter MAAC tournament as No. 7 seed

QBSN/Nick Boyd.

Tricia Fabbri has seen it all as a head coach.  

But heading into the MAAC Tournament in Atlantic City this year, her Bobcats are in a place they haven’t been in over a decade – an underdog seed in the conference tournament. 

Before this season, Quinnipiac had never finished lower than No. 5 as a member of the MAAC. You have to go all the way back to 2010, during the school’s NEC days, to find the last time that a Fabbri-led team entered the postseason below .500. It’s a testament to the program’s strength and how Fabbri has been able to get the most out of her players. And she thinks it’s unwise to say that this year’s Bobcat squad lacks the experience to win in the tournament.  

“It’s a new season [in the tournament]. There’s a lot to be optimistic about,” Fabbri said on Saturday after Quinnipiac’s home win over Marist. “I think the situations we’ve had to play and compete in are going to help us the most.”  

It’s been an up-and-down season for these young Bobcats. Team captain Jackie Grisdale went down for the year with a lower body injury back in December. Subsequent injuries to Ella O’Donnell, Maria Kealy and Karson Martin cut the Bobcats down as many as four starters at one point. But the Bobcats have maintained a positive mentality.  

“The emphasis in the locker room was just building positive momentum,” said forward Anna Foley. “Don’t count us out in the tournament… I’m excited to see what we do.” 

Foley has unquestionably been the brightest spot. The first-year phenom has put together one of the greatest rookie seasons in program history. Foley leads the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and free throw percentage. She ranks second in the conference among rookies in scoring; only trailing Fairfield’s first-year star Meghan Andersen.

First-year forward Anna Foley has been one of the best players in the MAAC this season. (Photo: QBSN/Mike Singer)

Thankfully for Quinnipiac, both O’Donnell and Martin are active for the tournament.
Key role players like junior wing Grace LaBarge and first-year guard Ava Sollenne have provided sparks for the Bobcats too, but both can be streaky. They all will need to provide reliable play for the Bobcats to find success in Atlantic City.  

In the opening round on Tuesday, the Bobcats play the tenth-seeded Saint Peter’s Peacocks. The Peacocks are led by sophomore guard Jada Leonard and first-year forward Fatmatah Janneh. Leonard is a top-15 scorer in the MAAC, averaging 12.0 points. Janneh is one of the top rookies in the league, averaging 10.9 points and 7.9 rebounds on the year. Quinnipiac swept the season series against Saint Peter’s, but the Peacocks made both matchups tough, defensive battles.  

“With Saint Peter’s, the last two times that we played them we kinda came out a little slow,” Martin said. “We need to punch first and work on the defensive end and not let [Janneh] get hot.” 

As for what to expect?  

“A dub,” Martin said emphatically. 

The 2024 MAAC Women’s Basketball Tournament bracket. (Image Courtesy of @MAACHoops on X)

The team has confidence in heaps.  

“We’re believing in ourselves,” said Sollenne after the Bobcats’ home overtime loss to Niagara in February. “That’s not going to end until the end of the MAAC Tournament when, hopefully, we’re champions.”  

That’s ambitious. But an ambitious mindset is a good thing for a team that doesn’t have a mountain of expectations piled on them.  What would success look like for Quinnipiac in the tournament this year anyway? 

It has been a retooling year for the program. The Bobcats are transitioning into a new core and a new era. A strong showing in the MAAC Tournament would be a massive springboard for the young core’s confidence and give the Bobcats a bed of playoff experience heading for the future.  

Realistically, a victory in the first round should be viewed as a successful tournament showing for the Bobcats. Going on a run through the quarterfinals would be even better. Fabbri thinks that’s absolutely a possibility.  

“You’re watching all the games now and it doesn’t matter! There was a seven that upset a two in the Atlantic 10 this week,” Fabbri said. “We’ve been in pressure packed situations all season long… This team is ready for the tournament.”  

It won’t be easy for the Bobcats to pull off a run at Boardwalk Hall.

But anything can happen in March.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Nick Boyd
Nick Boyd, Associate Producer: Sports Paws
Nick is a 3+1 journalism major from Poughkeepsie, NY in his sophomore year. Last year with Q30, Nick was a beat reporter covering the Women's Basketball Team and was involved with multiple shows. He's also the photography manager for QBSN.

Comments (0)

Comments on q30tv.com stories are screened and managed by the Web Director.
All Q30 Television Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *