The Fairfield University women’s volleyball team saw their 2019 season come to an end this past Friday, Nov. 23. The Stags fell short in three consecutive sets of the first round in the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship against the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. Failing to score more than 14 points in any of the sets, the Stags have been knocked out of the tournament.
Initially, Fairfield seemed to match Minnesota as they scored five consecutive points to take the lead in the first set, 5-2. However, Minnesota was not going to accept early defeat and quickly tied the set by a score of 7-7. After this point, Fairfield would not regain the lead for the rest of the set as Minnesota would go on to win the set, 25-13.
In the second set, Fairfield appeared as fierce competition yet again. In the beginning of the set, Fairfield and Minnesota passed the lead back and forth to each other to a point where Fairfield was winning 10-8. Similarly to the first set, this was Fairfield’s last point of control in the set. Minnesota went on to score eight consecutive points and gaining the lead 15-10 and would go on to win the set 25-14.
The third set demonstrated slightly less promise for the Stags as their 2019 season began to dwindle to an end. Minnesota gained a lead early in the game that continued to grow as play progressed. In fact, Fairfield was never able to gain control of the lead throughout the entire third set. Minnesota would win the set 25-11 securing their win to move on in the tournament.
Leading the match offensively for Fairfield was senior Mayda Garci,a who had seven kills, while Julia Kallen ‘22 helped out with four kills. Defensively, Fairfield was led by first-year Morgan Doll who had 14 digs and senior Sonja Radulovic who had 10. Minnesota was led by Adanna Rollins who had 14 kills and five digs, Alexis Hart who had nine kills and Kylie Miller who had 11 digs.
As the season comes to a close, Fairfield says goodbye to seniors Manuela Nicolini, Jamie Calandro, Garcia and Radulovic. Overall, the Stags went 24-6 throughout the season and were crowned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champions, which would be the program’s 11th conference title. Fairfield’s appearance in the NCAA tournament this year is the team’s third showing in the past four years.