FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Canisius volleyball team saw its 2012 season come to an end in a four-set loss to No. 2 seed Siena College in semifinals of the MAAC Championship in Alumni Hall on the campus of Fairfield University on Saturday afternoon. The Saints defeated the Golden Griffins 25-22, 25-13, 23-25, 25-20 as Canisius ends the season with a 16-13 record.
Senior Samantha Good led Canisius with 12 kills and a .500 attack percentage on the day, to go along with a team-best four blocks. Senior Logan Sulongga had nine kills and three blocks. Junior Sydney Palka had 34 assists and Allyson Severyn recorded a match-high 31 digs. Severyn breaks her own program single-season record with 634 digs.
"In the first two sets, it seemed like we couldn't get more than one player playing well at the same time," Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. "We were able to get the ball to Sam more in the last two sets, but it felt like we couldn't get her the ball enough."
"We didn't play our best match today, and Siena deserves credit for playing well. I'm proud of the way we battled in the last two sets. It's disappointing we didn't finish this year with a conference championship, but our program will learn from this experience."
In the opening set, the Griffs went up 12-9, using three early kills from junior Emily Elek and Siena attack errors on three of four points. The Saints then used an 8-3 run to go up 17-15 after a kill from Colleen Ahearn. The Griffs came back and tied it at 17-17 on the first Canisius block of the day, which came from juniors Jessica Warner and Roxanne Hernandez. After trading sideouts, Siena won consecutive points to go up 20-18, a lead it wouldn't relinquish. Canisius fought off two set points, but won the set on their third attempt, a kill from Jacqueline Skeen.
Canisius came out fast in the second set, winning the first four points, which included an ace from Warner. The Saints chipped away at the lead and took their first lead of the set at 10-9 after a kill from Sarah Sivertson. The Saints would win 18 of the final 22 points in the second set to go up 2-0 in the match.
Siena (21-10) appeared to be pulling away in the third set, going up 17-14 after a service ace from Sivertson. After her next serve hit off the tape for an error, the Griffs would score the next three points and went up 18-17 on a kill from Sulongga. After the teams traded sieouts, the Griffs scored three straight points to go up 22-19, capped by a block from Warner and Good. Siena came right back with three straight points, but a kill from Good allowed Canisius to reclaim the lead, and a Siena attack error gave Canisius two set points at 24-22. The Saints fought off the first one but a Siena attack error gave the third set to Canisius.
In the fourth set, Canisius held an early 6-5 lead before Siena created some separation by winning six straight points to go up 11-6 after a kill from Ahearn. Canisius cut the Siena lead to 13-10 after a kill from freshman Lauren Siebert, but the Saints called a timeout and went on a 4-1 run to regain control of the set. A kill from Good stopped the run with a big kill, which ignited four straight points for the Griffs that cut the deficit to 17-15 on a block from Good and Sulongga. Another Siena timeout stopped the Canisius momentum as the Saints scored the next three points out of the timeout to go up 20-15 and eventually won the set on a kill from Taylor Akana.
Akana led all players with 26 kills on the day, posting a double-double with 11 digs. Skeen had 14 kills while Ahearn had 11 kills. Sivertson posted 57 assists while Lesli Akeo had 26 digs.
Notes: Canisius and Siena met in the postseason for the sixth time, with the Griffs last defeating the Saints in the MAAC Championship in 1998... Canisius was a top-four seed in the MAAC Championship for the third straight year. The only other time that happened in program history came from 1991-93... Good finishes her career with 1,176 kills and 397 blocks, ranking fifth in the Canisius record books in both categories... Severyn ends her career with 2,288 digs. She had double-digit digs in all 29 matches this season and in 111 career matches... Sulongga posted her 1,000th career kills in the match, ending her career with 1,005 kills.