By David F.P.
HAMDEN, CT- The Dartmouth Big Green picked up a 3 set win over the hard fighting Quinnipiac Bobcats at Kahn Court this afternoon.
Dartmouth was able to pull off the 25 to 20 set number 1 win despite the Bobcats giving them quite a lot to deal with in the first set. Just as the Big Green was on the verge of closing the door, Quinnipiac mounted a late charge, but it would not be enough to regain the set.
Highlights for QU included a kill from Taylor Payne, a great defensive save by Kayla Lawler, a great dig by Kelby Carey when a Dartmouth blast flew over, a kill by Carey that popped off the block, a huge kill by Amanda Armstrong, a great dig by Logan Riker later in the set, Armstrong took a set and nailed it over. Stephanie Biediger unleashed a kill off the defenders and out of play. Payne ended a long rally back and forth between the two with a kill to the corner. Carey crushed it following one of her team’s time outs. Armstrong served up an Ace when it hit the net and landed in. Biediger picked up a block as the Bobcats started a comeback. Following a Dartmouth time out, Biediger struck again, and Armstrong had another Ace which landed just in bounds.
Highlights for Dartmouth included Annie Villanueva served up an Ace just in bounds early, later Meghan Cooney tapped over the front line, midway though, Villanueva smashed the ball down, and Alissa Santa Maria served up an Ace right afterward. Following a good save by her teammate Jessica Hartman, Madeline Baird sent a smash just in bounds.
Set 2 was a classic battle royale, eventually ending up with a 27-25 Dartmouth set win, but each side threw everything and the kitchen sink at each other.
Highlights for Dartmouth included Baird stopped the bleeding early on with a kill from the net and then served up an Ace as well. Santa Maria’s fake set turned into a kill added to the comeback, and Amber Bryant picked up a good defensive save, though it didn’t lead to any points, with the Big Green down by a bunch, Santa Maria picked up a service Ace and Villanueva helped end a long rally. Villanueva was set a ball and she absolutely crushed it for an attack. Down by several, Baird smashed a kill, then picked another kill up, then another kill, then another…kill when she tipped it over, to tie the set. After QU regained the lead, Baird struck yet again. Villanueva ended a long rally with a kill to tie it at 22. She would regain the lead for her team with a kill. Baird’s smash regained the lead, and on the ensuing long rally, she had a defensive save that was key, and picked up the set ending kill.
Highlights for Quinnipiac included Payne & Olivia Grattan teaming up on a block to open the set, Lawler had two consecutive aces following that, Grattan then crushed a kill in on the Big Green. Biediger stepped in and served up an ace, and Grattan struck yet again. Following a great defensive save by Riker, Lawler and Payne picked up a tandem block, and Riker then served up an Ace to give the Bobcats an 8 to 2 lead. The lead grew when Armstrong and Payne had a block, and Biediger launched a missile of a kill in. Following a back and forth she would pick up another kill and Armstrong would launch another Ace in that lead to a Dartmouth time out. Following a good save by Riker, Biediger tipped the ball just within the boundary lines to keep their lead at 5. Payne sent an absolute rocket flying from her hand for a point. Grattan and Payne both shared a block to keep the lead at 4. Late in the set, Armstrong set the ball to a back gap. During the longest rally of the set, a great defensive save by Carey kept things going until Dartmouth hit into the net. During another long rally, Tracey Wright had a great diving effort, despite not getting a point from it. Biediger tied it late with a cross court spike from the net. Grattan tied it back up with a tap to a gap in the front line. Later Carey’s kill tied up the set again.
Set 3 would also go Dartmouth’s way but not without a fight from QU.
Highlights for the Big Green included an early blast from Johnson, Baird got back in on the scoring early with a big kill, Elisa Scudder struck midway through, and Baird served an Ace up that the defense couldn’t return. Villanueva and 12 teamed up on a block midway through, and Bryant had one of her defensive saves, though QU picked up a point later. Villanueva tied the game at 13 with an attack QU couldn’t return, and Baird teed up and unleashed a hammered attack. Scudder’s block came in handy to expand the lead. Late in the set Johnson came up with an Ace, and after string of QU attack errors of various kinds, Baird hurricaned a spike through the blockers, and Scudder ended the set and match with a big kill.
And highlights for Quinnipiac included a great defensive play by Payne which sent the ball to Riker who hit the ball over and in for a point. Payne sent a kill to the floor early in the set, Armstrong added a kill to the back of the defensive zone, and served up an Ace immediately afterward. Biediger and Lawler picked up a block as well, and Lawler also had one of the Bobcats’ many aces of the day. Many of either team’s points came due to errors by the other team late in the set.
Quinnipiac is still searching for an elusive first win, and Dartmouth closes out their part of the tourney vs. St. Peter’s at 4:30pm.