LEWISTON — The Canisius College volleyball team lost in three sets to Niagara University at the Gallagher Center on Wednesday night. The Purple Eagles won 25-13, 25-10, 25-16 as the Golden Griffins fall to 11-12 overall and 7-4 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Sophomore Emily Elek led the Griffs with seven kills. Freshman Sydney Palka had 12 assists while sophomore libero Allyson Severyn had a match-high 19 digs.
"I felt we came in with a couple of great days of practice, but obviously that didn't carry over to tonight's match," Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. "Niagara is a great team and played that way tonight. In this atmosphere and against that team, you need to be at the top of your game and that wasn't the case. We have to regroup quickly and look forward to playing at home this weekend."
Niagara (15-8, 10-1 MAAC) won the first nine points of the opening set and cruised to the first set win. The Purple Eagles used two blocks and took advantage of five Canisius errors to build the early lead and never let Canisius get closer than eight points after that stretch.
After Canisius won the opening point of the second set, the Purple Eagles slowly built their lead, getting three runs of at least three points to go up 13-5 in the match. Kills from junior Layne Adams and senior Renee Lettow cut the Niagara deficit to 13-7 before the Purple Eagles won 12 of the final 15 points to take the two-set lead in the match.
Niagara, who has won nine straight matches, on the first three points of the opening set and quickly built a 10-2 lead. The Griffs won four of the next six points -- getting kills from Elek and sophomore Samantha Good - to make it 12-6. The Griffs cut it to six points again later in the set after consecutive kills from Elek, but Niagara won five of the final seven points to take the match.
Ellen Senf led Niagara with 12 kills on 17 attempts for a .647 attack percentage. Michelle James had a double-double with 36 assists and 12 digs as three Niagara players recorded double-digit digs in the match.
Canisius returns home this weekend for two matches in the Koessler Athletic Center, starting with Manhattan on Saturday. Match time is set for 2 p.m.
Match Notes: The match was part of the all-sports Battle of the Bridge competition between the schools with one point going to the Purple Eagles. Niagara now leads the competition 3-0... The teams wore pink during warmups and throughout the match as part of the Dig Pink campaign with the Side-Out Foundation. Canisius and Manhattan will participate in the campaign on Saturday... Niagara has won the last three matches between the teams.