SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team dropped their 2015 season opener to the Bryant Bulldogs on Friday afternoon, 3-1. The Bobcats fell behind early, dropping the first two sets (15-25, 17-25) but battled back to take the third set (25-16). Bryant defeated Quinnipiac in a tough fourth set (22-25) to eliminate any chance of a Bobcat comeback.
Junior Katie Urycki led all Bobcats with 14 kills and two service aces while adding six total blocks and four digs. Urycki picked up where she left off last season as the team's leader in kills (262) and aces per set (0.33). Allison Leigh (Palmer, Alaska) controlled the middle, leading the team with seven total blocks. Leigh led both teams with a .400 hitting percentage, committing no errors and adding eight kills. She entered the season ranked third all-time in the Quinnipiac Division 1 era with 127 total blocks (40 solo, 87 assisted).
Freshmen Kat Miller (Collegeville, Pennsylvania) and Jen Coffey (Merrimack, New Hampshire) both made solid debuts on the court for the Bobcats. Each player contributed five kills while Miller added 11 digs and one block to Coffey's 10 digs and two blocks. Both junior Emma Ogden (Crown Point, Indiana) and sophomore Sierra Dawson (Larkspur, California) led the team with 16 assists on the day.
The Bulldogs won the first set 15-25, scoring nine of the last 11 points to close out the Bobcats and take a 1-0 advantage. Quinnipiac recorded seven kills off seven assists while Bryant held a slight edge of 10 kills and nine assists through the first set. Urycki tallied four kills and two total blocks to lead the Bobcats while Ogden knotted six digs and six assists heading into the second set.
Unable to hold off the Bryant attack, Quinnipiac fell 17-25 in the second set. The Bulldogs registered 13 kills and a .226 hitting percentage to the Bobcats' eight kills and .031 percentage. Through two sets, sophomore Elizabeth Kloos (Munster, Indiana) led the team with five total blocks while adding five kills.
After dropping the first two sets, Quinnipiac bounced back with a huge third set win to stay alive in the match. The Bobcats outscored the home team, 25-16 off 12 kills and a .300 hitting percentage. Through three sets, Urycki led QU with eight kills while adding two service aces in the latter stages of the third set. Leigh contributed three kills and four total blocks to help the Bobcats to their first set victory of the year.
Hoping to push the match to five sets, the Bulldogs closed off Quinnipiac with a tight 22-25 victory in the fourth set. The Bobcats were able to even the score at 20-20, but after a Bryant timeout, the Bulldogs scored on five of the last seven points for their first win of 2015. For the match, Bryant outdueled Quinnipiac by taking a 50-41 advantage in kills and recording a .179 hitting percentage to the Bobcats' .128.
Quinnipiac resumes play in the Hampton Inn-vitational tomorrow, August 28, when they take on Iona at 10 a.m. followed by a match against Holy Cross at 1 p.m. The Bobcats will look to bounce back on Saturday at Bryant University with two strong performances from the Chace Athletic Center.