The Canisius College volleyball team wrapped up the first half of the conference schedule with a four-set win over Iona College in the Koessler Athletic Center on Sunday afternoon. The Golden Griffins won 25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 25-10 to improve to 11-8 overall and 8-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. After nine MAAC matches, first-place Canisius holds a two-match lead in the loss column over the rest of the conference.
Three Golden Griffins had double-digit kills in the match, with junior Jessica Warner posting a double-double with 11 kills and 16 digs to go along with three service aces. Junior Emily Elek had 11 kills while senior Samantha Good had 10 kills. Junior Sydney Palka posted 44 assists while senior libero Allyson Severyn recorded a match-high 30 digs.
Canisius combined for 16.5 blocks as a team in the match, with Warner, Elek and junior Roxanne Hernandez each recording eight blocks against the Gaels. Canisius posted double-digit blocks for the fifth match this season and for the third time in the last four matches.
"Iona came out and played with a lot of energy from the start of this match, not letting the ball hit floor," Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. "I was expecting that we could be a little flat with our energy after the win over Fairfield, but we found our stride midway through the first set.
"Once again, we received contributions from a number of players and fed off the energy provided by our block."
Iona held an 18-14 lead in the first set and eventually led 20-17 before Canisius closed the set on an 8-1 run. Warner and senior Logan Sulongga each had two kills in the run as Canisius took the opening set. The Gaels evened the match by taking the second set, holding Canisius to five kills in the second set.
Canisius created some breathing room in the third set with three-point run, turning a 12-11 lead into a 15-11 advantage after a kill from Good. The Griffs would never let the Gaels get closer than three points the rest of the set to go up 2-1 in the match. Canisius carried over that momentum to the fourth set, winning the first six points and never looking back to close out the Gaels on a kill from Elek.
Alicja Pawelec led Iona (6-15, 3-6 MAAC) with 16 kills. Natalie Ziskin had 34 assists while Theresa Harvey posted 28 digs.
Canisius plays three matches next week, starting with a Battle of the Bridge rematch with rival Niagara University on Wednesday evening. Match time at the Gallagher Center is set for 6 p.m.
Notes: The 8-1 start in MAAC play for the Griffs is the best in program history... Canisius ends a six-match losing streak to the Gaels... Canisius improves to 33-16 since 2006 when posting double-digit blocks in a conference match... Palka had 40 or more assists for the fourth straight match, the longest stretch since Janelle Davis had a stretch of four straight during the 2008 season... Severyn posted 30 or more digs for the second time this season (37 digs at Rhode Island on Sept. 7) and sixth time in her career... Warner recorded her fourth double-double of the season... Good had double-digit kills for the fifth time this season and has a streak of five or more for the fourth time in her career... Elek and Hernandez each set a career high with the eight blocks while Warner matched her career best.