Three Takeaways from Quinnipiac Volleyball’s Win Over St. Peter’s


Credit: Rob Rasmussen | QU Athletics

Paul Siracusa, Beat Reporter: Quinnipiac Volleyball

It’s an exciting time to be affiliated with the Quinnipiac volleyball team. On Saturday, the Bobcats demolished the Saint Peter’s Peacocks in three sets which extended their winning streak to three games. Quinnipiac is now winners of seven of their last eight games. During Sunday’s regular-season finale against Rider, the Bobcats will celebrate Senior Day. It will be a special day for seniors Aryanah Diaz and Alisa Mejia as they will be honored for all their hard work and dedication to the Quinnipiac volleyball team. Lastly, on Wednesday the MAAC Tournament will begin at a different venue: the ESPN Wide World Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. The team will certainly have fun at Disney World beforehand.

Before the team celebrates its Senior Day, MAAC Tournament first-round bye and riding Space Mountain, there were three main takeaways from Saturday’s game.


Takeaway #1: Offensive Contributions Were Well Balanced

This first takeaway has not just been a trend from Saturday’s game, but the second half of the season. During Saturday’s game, four players recorded at least 5 kills: Diaz (13), Nicole Legg (9), Giorgia Donghi (7) and Alexandra Tennon (5). While on Saturday, the Bobcats did this to a less talented team, the same trend has continued against great competition. One such example is when Quinnipiac played Iona in New York on Nov. 6. During that game, the Bobcats had six players record at least 5 kills: Diaz (14), Ginevra Giovagnoni (11), Yagmur Gunes (9), Lexi Morse (7), Tennon (6) and Legg (5). While these games certainly illustrated that Quinnipiac has enough players to contribute to wins, the Bobcats can rely on different personnel to come through each game aside from Diaz. Saturday’s game exemplifies that the Bobcats win over the Gaels was a great representation of the team they are instead of just simply an upset win.


Takeaway #2: The On-Court Chemistry/Development Between Players is Now There

This takeaway has positively progressed since the beginning of the volleyball season back in late August. The main part of this equation was the lack of experience a lot of members have playing in the MAAC. The Bobcats are relying on many young players to significantly contribute. For example, the roster contains six first-year students: Damla Gunes, Yagmur Gunes, Donghi, Giovagnoni, Bailey Brashear, and Milena Martinon.

Most of these players are on the court for most of the game. When there are a lot of young players, the team must focus more on the basics as opposed to a specific strategy. Focusing on the fundamentals forces the team to not develop chemistry between their rookies and veterans. The other part of this equation was how the international players had to adjust to the United States version of volleyball and language. Rightfully so, this would not be an easy transition. Other countries contain fewer (six) substitutions than the United States. This means foreign players need to find ways to stay loose and focused while not playing, which is something that they are not used to. Now, in the middle of November, none of these things are issues and is one of Quinnipiac’s strengths.


Takeaway #3: Finishing Off Opponents During Late Parts of the Set

During the beginning of the season, the young Bobcats had difficulty finishing off opponents and playing with a lead. The team needed to learn how to play their best when their backs were not against the wall. Quinnipiac could not let players play too comfortably and take their foot off the gas. For example, on Aug. 27 the Bobcats played the Fordham Rams in New York. Quinnipiac entered the fourth set with two sets to one lead. Late in the fourth set, the Bobcats found themselves with a 23-20 lead, but multiple attack and ball-handling errors caused their downfall which caused them to lose in five sets. However, during the highly contested first set of Saturday’s match, the team found themselves again winning 23-20. After some St. Peter’s kills and one Quinnipiac attack error, the game was tied at 23. The Bobcats were able to stay composed and not get rattled at the thought of dropping the first set. Legg was able to get back-to-back kills to help the Bobcats win the first set. That was the only time where the game was close as Quinnipiac won the remaining two sets 25-10 and 25-18.


The Bobcats volleyball team is a much different unit than the one that began the season 2-12. With a more well-balanced offensive attack, continued on-court chemistry and development, and finishing off opponents late in the game, this team will be a challenge to anyone it plays. One of the most dangerous teams in a playoff format can be the hot, underrated team.