Volleyball drops match at NJIT, 3-0

By on October 10, 2006

Despite sophomore Crista Valentino’s team-high 12 digs and a career-high .294 hitting percentage, the Quinnipiac volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Institute of Technology last Tuesday in Newark, N.J. The Bobcats fell to 0-19 for the season, while the NJIT Highlanders improved to 4-15.

Valentino had a co-team-high 17 total attacks, with six kills and one error. That ratio equaled her best kill percentage of her Quinnipiac career, .294. Her previous high was .273 in a 3-2 victory at Providence last October.

Sophomore Jenna Benigno almost recorded a triple-double for the Bobcats. Other than co-leading the team in total attacks with Valentino, Benigno had eight digs, seven assists and a team-high seven kills. In addition, she also had one of the four service aces for Quinnipiac.

Among the other categories, freshman Janelle Walz led the Bobcats with two services aces, junior Ashley Phillips had a team-high 17 assists and senior Stephanie Conde’s three blocks were the team’s most.

NJIT had a dual attack by sophomore Kubra Tanrikulu and freshman Kristy Haeckel. The two Highlanders players combined for 27 kills. Sophomore Danielle Thompson dominated with 38 digs

In the first game of the match, Quinnipiac had a season-high .316 team hitting percentage, but NJIT came up with a 30-19 victory. NJIT won the next two sets in closer fashion to finish the match, 30-26 and 30-25.

Quinnipiac head coach Sue Medley was impressed with the way her team responded to the Highlanders’ first set, despite the mistakes the Bobcats made. Quinnipiac had 15 service receive errors to NJIT’s four.

“I was really pleased with the intensity and heart we played with,” Medley said. “The game came down to unforced errors in the serve receive category for us.”

This was Quinnipiac’s 19th consecutive match away from home to begin to the 2006 season. The Bobcats’ home-opener will be versus Providence on Wednesday at 7 p.m. It will be Faculty Appreciation Night as well, and also mark the start of a three-game homestand for the team. The Bobcats will also play Northeastern Conference foes Long Island on Saturday, and St. Francis (N.Y.) on Sunday.

Quinnipiac is looking to continue its streak of eight-consecutive appearances in the NEC tournament, which is a league best. The Bobcats have qualified for every six-team NEC tournament since joining Division I and the NEC in 1998. Women’s volleyball is the only Quinnipiac women’s team to accomplish such a feat. The only Quinnipiac team to match that streak is the men’s ice hockey team.


About Ron Weston