By David F. Pendrys [Official Box Score from QU]
HAMDEN, CT – The Marist Red Foxes swept the Quinnipiac Bobcats volleyball squad Wednesday night 25-22, 25-16, 25-19 in a MAAC contest. QU was dealing with the loss of three of their top four scorers to injury as Elizabeth Kloos, Jen Coffey, and Kat Miller were unavailable.
Natalie Alechko did her best to take on the offensive load launching 14 kills on the day, and Morgan Sherwin’s 7 while she posted a .412 a hit percentage, as well Kaleigh Oates landing six helped the cause but were in the end not enough. Sherwin also served up 3 Aces and had 2 Blocks, as did Oates.
Maria Pansari had 29 assists, and Alejandra Rodriguez posted 13 Digs, Alechko had 11 as all hands were on deck on the defensive side.
Nikki DeSerpa was a major force in Marist’s victory as she launched 15 kills, and served up 2 Aces. Teammate Kelsey Ediger had 7 kills and hit for a percentage of .350 and led the team in Digs with 13. Megan Fergus contributed 5 Kills and 3 Blocks, Sarah Austin had 2 Ace, Ashton Korona led the team with five blocks and Taylor van der Biezen led the team with 29 assists and had 2 blocks as well.
Marist hit .202 across the three games of the match, and QU posted a really low .063. Neither team game to game had a great hit percentage in general but QU’s was anemic including a -.100 in the second game.
The first game went Marist’s way early as the visitor’s reached an 8-1 advantage thanks in part to DeSerpa who had a Kill and 2 straight service Aces, Korona & Fergus shared a Block, and defensive plays from DeSerpa, Katie Brierly, van der Biezen, and Fergus all on one volley kept their momentum going. QU responded and Sherwin lofted up two straight service Aces followed by two Oates Kills to swing things back to QU. The teams traded points, but after a nice defensive save from Maria Pansari, Sherwin blasted the ball over the net for a 13-11 QU lead and she struck again on the next point. Soon it was 16-12 but DeSerpa snatched back the momentum with three straight Kills.
The teams fought to a 22-22 tie, before Lauren Waide used a fake set to deceive QU and land a Kill. A Quinnipiac error followed, and DeSerpa ended it with a spike of the blocking line.
In game 2 things started pretty evenly, but quickly Marist gained a quick lead and built on it as Korona had Kills and Blocks, and QU committed some errors. QU would cut the deficit only to have Marist enlarge it, and soon it was 20-16 thanks in part to Fergus and a well placed tactical Kill from Waide to end a long volley back and forth. QU handed another point away on a miscue and Sydney Rojek landed an Ace to keep the lead growing. Three points later it was over 25-16.
The teams reached a 6-6 tie early in game 3, but Marist started rolling yet again after Korona and Fergus teamed up again on a Block amidst some QU attack errors. With the Red Foxes leading 10-6 the team’s traded points, which worked in Marist’s favor. After Alechko cut the lead to with 2 big spikes, DeSerpa responded twice to negate the progress. The team’s traded more points, but after Fergus hit the ball through the blocking line it was 20-14. Alechko responded again, but Ediger countered her point with a tap for a Kill. QU tried to climb back into the game and made it to 19 points, but an attack error ended the game and match 25-19.
QU drops to 6-15 and 5-3 in the MAAC, Marist rises to 8-10 and 4-2 in the MAAC.