It is safe to say that come next season, the Quinnipiac Bobcats will be relieved to not see Megan O’Sullivan ‘17 on the other side of the net. For the past four years now, the towering 6-foot-2-inch middle blocker gave the Stags’ Nutmeg State rival nightmares from her position on the court. Her performance on Nov. 12 was no different as O’Sullivan commanded George Bisacca Court like few Fairfield players have ever done, en route to a thrilling 25-22, 22-25, 25-17, 26-24 victory on her Senior Day.
Being the lone senior on a team that is currently riding the nation’s longest winning streak at 20 games, it was incredibly special to be surrounded by her friends and family during her last regular season game at Alumni Hall.
“I am so grateful for the job everyone did to celebrate my Senior Day,” said O’Sullivan. “They all did such a great job decorating and it really meant so much to me.”
Clearly, the significance of the day meant a huge deal to the rest of the Stags. The team came out of the gates fired up to face a streaky Quinnipiac team that has proven itself to be one of the elite teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. In a give and take first set that experienced five ties and two lead changes, Fairfield was able to squeak by the Bobcats behind their 17 kills in the frame.
Although the Stags were able to continue their strong offensive attack in the second set in large part due to the performances from O’Sullivan and Megan Theiller ‘18, Quinnipiac stole the frame from Fairfield as they notched 15 kills in the set compared to their tally of six putaways in the first set. Now with the third frame in the balance, it was time for the third member of the “Big Three” to step into the fold.
Like she has done so many times this season, Skyler Day ‘18 suddenly imposed her will on the Bobcats after the break to the tune of six kills in the frame. As the three-headed monster clicked, there was no question that the third set belonged to the Stags in what finished as a 25-17 win.
Therefore, the fourth set was by no means a walk in the park as Quinnipiac was not leaving Stag Country without a fight. In yet another entertaining set, which offered five ties and three lead changes, the Stags’ overwhelming talent finally triumphed in the end as Theiller, Day and O’Sullivan posted nine, six and two kills, respectively in the period.
Theiller ended the day with one of the best individual outings in Fairfield history, sending home 30 kills while also adding 21 digs. Day bounced back to chip in 13 kills with 10 digs and the woman-of-the-hour in O’Sullivan finished with a resounding 14 kills and five blocks up front.
One man who certainly cherishes his time having O’Sullivan on the floor is head coach Todd Kress. The leader of the Stags commented on her influence on the program and what she has meant to the team over the course of her time at Fairfield.
“She has matured so much in the years that I have worked with her,” said Kress. “In our very first meeting I said to her that if you put everything you have into this program, you have the opportunity to accomplish some great things. She is an incredible student-athlete and a great kid.”
Given that O’Sullivan is the team’s locker room leader, the Stags know that they have the pieces to capture their third MAAC Tournament Championship in the past four years when they take George Bisacca Court on Nov. 19 for the first round of the tournament. However, with a 26-5 record and an undefeated mark of 18-0 in conference, Fairfield knows that the rest of the MAAC does not care about the gaudy numbers.
“People are not going to come in here and fear us,” said O’Sullivan. “They are going to want to come in here and beat us so we have to start to play with a chip on our shoulder.”
Good luck conquering the Herd as Fairfield is playing the best volleyball in the country right now. Two more wins and the Stags will once again be bringing the hardware back to Alumni Hall.