The Fairfield University women’s volleyball team’s season came to a close on Saturday, Nov. 19, when they lost a hard-fought battle against Quinnipiac University in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game. The Stags gave it their best, but the Bobcats managed to fend them off with a score of three sets to one, winning their first MAAC championship in program history.
The number six-seeded Bobcats had been surging in the playoffs and now have won seven straight games heading into the national tournament. They were led in this game by Aryanah Diaz, whose ten kills and nine digs led her to be named Championship MVP. Damla Gunes also contributed 48 assists, leading to five different Bobcats reaching double figures in kills. Fairfield’s Sabria Cooper ‘23 and Kyla Berg ‘24 played well for the Stags, earning themselves places on the All-Championship team. Quinnipiac will go on to play Wisconsin on Friday, Dec. 2 in the national tournament.
The loss was disappointing for the number one-seeded Fairfield team as they had hoped to bring home their 13th MAAC Championship to the program. However, they still had an excellent season, going 17-1 in conference play and capturing the MAAC regular season title for the 21st time in the past 27 seasons.
The Fairfield team often has high expectations heading into the season due to the tremendous success they have experienced over the past 27 seasons. Despite the loss, Fairfield outside hitter KJ Johnson ‘23 was named MAAC Player of the Year for the second straight season, and head coach Todd Kress was named MAAC Coach of the Year for the ninth time. Off the court, the Stags also received some praise.
Berg and Ella Gardiner ‘23 were both named to the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team, a prestigious award to receive. The Stags will move on from their loss and look to come back stronger and better than ever next season and look forward to a bright future ahead.