The Fairfield University Women’s Volleyball team (10-13, 9-5 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) faced Quinnipiac University (6-18, 5-9 MAAC) on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. for the second time this season at the Den. The MAAC duo last competed against each other on Sept. 29 where Fairfield claimed a home court victory on George Bisacca Court at our own Alumni Hall. The Stags were unable to uphold their dominance on Oct. 26 against Quinnipiac, following a two-game weekend. The consecutive afternoon games resulted in one clean sweep by the Rider University Broncs (0-3) and a comeback victory by Fairfield’s Stags over the Saint Peter’s University Peacocks (3-1). Fairfield failed to extend their winning streak, and fell to Quinnipiac.
Fairfield outside hitter Laura Seeger ’22, hailing from Long Island, N.Y., stood out offensively as one of the best on the court. She led her team in kills, registering 14 in five sets, and leveled in blocks with teammate No. 5 Sydney Williams ’19 who tallied four. Middle blocker Williams had an impressionable nine kills. Another star rookie, Julia Kallen ‘22, trailed behind with one less kill than Seeger.
A kill by Quinnipiac senior No. 17 Kat Miller beat the Stags and put the Bobcats on the board first. Neither team could maintain a lead, as they went back and forth for the first six points.
Finally, when the two were tied at three, Fairfield took off and recorded four straight point, the first three of which were awarded as a result of attack errors by Quinnipiac. The last was on a fierce kill by Fairfield’s Mayda Garcia ’20. QU answered back, echoing the scoring streak with two kills, a service ace by Quinnipiac’s Kaleigh Oates and a bad set by Fairfield’s Alexis Rich ’22. Quinnipiac’s streak was interrupted at 7-6 when Fairfield evened the score but was restarted, this time stronger, with eight consecutive points scored. Five points into QU’s scoring stretch, Fairfield called a timeout, hoping to interrupt their adversaries’ impetus. Quinnipiac’s score more than doubled Fairfield’s and created an eight-point deficit at 15-7. Fairfield’s four successive errors set them further behind by 11 points. They came back, making the score 24-18 in favor of Quinnipiac, but were unable to take the set. Bobcat Captain Morgan Sherwin made a kill off of an assist from setter Maria Pansari and claimed the first set 25-18.
Fairfield had some catching up to do, and came back from the first intermission with a vengeance. The first two points were in favor of our Stags as they started the set with two straight kills, the first by defensive specialist Sophia Hosokawa ‘22 and the next by Kallen.
Once again, our rookies made an impressionable performance. Fairfield’s next point was earned by Kallen with another kill and the following two were Quinnipiac errors off of Kallen. The score was 5-1 and Fairfield had finally found their assertiveness. Fairfield University out-killed QU 18-8 respectively. Quinnipiac was never able to secure a lead, and Fairfield’s stamina increased. At 21-16, the
Bobcats fell behind and the Stags finished off the set claiming the last four points. Three of the four final points were kills (two by No. 11 Seeger and one by No. 5 Williams). The game was tied 1-1 proceeding a 25-16 win for Fairfield.
Fairfield’s No. 17 DS Taylor Rudeen ’22 contributed in both of the first two points and scored in the third, but the game went back and forth. Fairfield and Quinnipiac drew 11 times in the 25 point set. The two finally tied at 23 and Quinnipiac called their final timeout. They
returned, scoring the final three points. Bobcat Kat Miller produced a nasty kill to end the set 25-22. Fairfield lagged behind Quinnipiac 2-1 and had to win the fourth set to protect their chanceof winning in an abbreviated 15-point fifth set.
Outside/right-side hitter Garcia started the set with a kill from teammate, Rich. Rich led Fairfield with 49 total assists in this game. The set was close, while Fairfield beat out Quinnipiac 31-28 respectively in Total Attempts. They also dominated the kills 15-8 and ultimately, a kill by Williams earned the set-winning point to keep Fairfield in contention. The final score was 25-22 Stags and Fairfield upheld four leads of three or more points. The MAAC teams would be forced to continue play, to break the 2-2 stalemate.
Two kills and a service ace provided Quinnipiac with an early three point lead, asserting their dominance in the do or die fifth match. An attack error by No. 3 in blue, Morgan Sherwin, put the Stags into the running but two more Fairfield errors increased QU’s lead by four. The score was 5-1. Seeger’s 13th kill of the game, followed by a Quinnipiac attack error, kept Fairfield afloat. The score was 5-3 and Fairfield still had ground to make. Sherwin, who registered the most kills (16) out of both teams, completed her 14th kill and added another point to the Bobcat’s existing five and solidifying a lead that Fairfield would never catch up to. The game wrapped up with Sherwin’s final kill which ultimately secured their victory at 15-11. A hard fought battle concluded with a 3-2 Fairfield loss.
Fairfield has four remaining MAAC regular season matches in the next two weeks before the Championships in Orlando, Fla. We have the advantage, as we are hosting all four of the outstanding matches at Alumni Hall. With little time left, the Fairfield Volleyball team must scramble to find cohesiveness in time to defend their most recent MAAC Championship title, and possibly win their 11th MAAC Championship.