Volleyball falls short despite help from softball team
CCSU Defeats Bobcats 3-1
Freshman Jordan Paolucci was recruited by Quinnipiac to play catcher for the softball team. However, on Sunday she played her first game as a Division I athlete with the volleyball team in their last game of the season.
Paolucci didn’t anticipate the opportunity, to say the least.
“Never in a million years,” Paolucci said.
Paolucci, Kortney Kesses and Jessica Amenda all suited up from the softball team to play in Quinnipiac’s game against Central Connecticut State University (11-17, 8-8 NEC), but Paolucci was the only one who entered the match. The volleyball team needed the support, as several players had gone down with injuries, including sophomore libero Logan Riker.
“Jordan played great,” Quinnipiac head coach Robin Sparks said. “She’s not someone who hasn’t played. She played in international competition, strangely against Taylor Payne two years ago in Arizona so she had the confidence to come in. It wasn’t a lot, just some little rotations but it really helped us out.”
Unfortunately, Paolucci’s two spikes and one dig were not enough for a victory, as Quinnipiac (6-24, 4-12 NEC) fell 3-1. The win clinched the Blue Devils a spot in the NEC Tournament.
Kayla Lawler started the first set with two service aces, but CCSU quickly took control and won 25-14. The Blue Devils won by the same score in the second set to take a 2-0 lead.
The third set included 10 ties and 10 lead changes and was capped off by Quinnipiac middle hitter Amanda Armstrong. Armstrong, who played in her final match as a Bobcat, spiked the ball against a CCSU block, but it landed out of bounds to give her the kill and a 25-22 set win.
Armstrong, a graduate student, was the lone Bobcat honored on Senior Day before the game. She contributed a team-high nine kills and added one ace. Armstrong led Quinnipiac in kills, kills per sets, blocks and blocks per set this season.
Sunday was one of Armstrong’s two most memorable moments in her career at Quinnipiac, she said.
“We have never played at that high of a level or that high of a volleyball IQ,” Armstrong said. “We were making adjustments during the play which we have never been able to do. I’m able to do that but to see our freshmen and sophomores do it was great. Even Jordan was doing it, she was fantastic.”
Her other best memory at Quinnipiac was her match-winning kill on Oct. 24 against Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The Bobcats kept it close in the fourth set against the Blue Devils, however they fell 25-20 and lost the match.
“We competed, with all the adversity we’ve gone up against I thought they played very well, especially the way they finished off,” Sparks said.
“I think we had a great season. We beat Robert Morris for the first time in the history of the program, Long Island for the first time in 11 years, Hartford for the first time in the history and Lafayette the same thing.”
Sparks also said that this was the best statistical year in every category by a good amount.
Eleven returning players, including captain Kayla Lawler and her nationally ranked serving statistics, will look to earn the Bobcats their first NEC Tournament berth next year.