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CCSU dispatches ‘Cats
The Quinnipiac Bobcats volleyball team fell to Northeast Conference rival Central Connecticut State University 3-1 Saturday night at Burt Kahn Court. The Bobcats lost the first two sets 25-18, 25-13, respectively, before taking the third set 25-23. They would eventually bow down in the fourth set 25-18.
The Bobcats (1-13, 1-2 in the NEC) were led by the sophomore tandem of Kelby Carey and Kayla Lawler. Carey tied with Jamie Baumert, of the Blue Devils (6-8, 2-0 in the NEC), for the most kills of the game with 15, while Lawler led the Bobcats with 36 assists.
In the first set, the Bobcats stayed close but could never muster enough offense to go ahead. The Bobcats and Blue Devils traded points through the beginning before the Blue Devils scored five straight points to go up 12-7. Coming out of a Quinnipiac timeout, the Blue Devils scored first before the Bobcats took the next two points. The Bobcats never got a scoring streak longer than two and fell 25-18.
The second set proved to be a disaster for the Bobcats. The Bobcats jumped to a quick 6-1 lead, but the Blue Devils responded with their own 5-0 run to tie the set at six. After a Bobcat timeout, the Blue Devils proceeded to go on and take eight of the next nine points. Quinnipiac was never able to score more than a point before Central scored again. Of the Blue Devils’ 25 points, 13 were a result of Bobcat errors.
“We were putting too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect,” said Quinnipiac head coach Robin Lamott Sparks. “When someone made a mistake, they felt like they were letting everyone down, instead of letting it go.”
“We were all almost a little too excited,” Carey said. “Everyone just needed to calm down and take a deep breath.”
And that’s exactly what the Bobcats did before the third set. They had a team meeting in the locker room and discussed how they knew they were better than how they just played.
“We said that we know how to play volleyball and we needed to go back to the way we played against Yale,” Carey said, referring to the team’s loss earlier in the day. “We knew we could do it.”
When the Bobcats started the third set, they had a new energy and excitement to them. The Bobcats fell behind early, but chipped away at the Blue Devils lead, until they tied it at 16. Losing three straight points forced Sparks to call another timeout.
The Bobcats scored four of the next five points after the timeout to retie the set at 20 and force Central to take a timeout of their own. The Bobcats took five of the next eight points to win the set 25-23.
The fourth set proved to be very similar to the first with the Bobcats playing well, but just never able to string enough points together to take a commanding lead. The Bobcats fell 25-18 and lost the game.