AMHERST, N.Y. – The Canisius volleyball team opened the 2014 season with a three-set loss to Ole Miss on Friday, in the opening match of the UB Invitational. The Golden Griffins lost 25-23, 25-25, 25-16 to the Rebels.
Freshman Kristin Bendy led the Griffs with 11 kills on 19 attack attempts to post a .526 attack percentage. Junior Rachel Kline had eight kills and seven digs while sophomore Jacklyn Malusa led the team with four blocks while Canisius totaled eight blocks in the match. Junior Grace Streicher posted 23 assists while senior Emily Litwin had 18 digs.
“I’m excited to see that we carried over what we emphasized in practice. We did a lot of things right today against an above-the-net team from the SEC,” Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. “We can and will work to get better on execution, especially in crucial times when we need key pass, set or attack.”
The Griffs used a 7-2 run to battle back into the first set, capped by a kill from junior Rachel Kline on an overpass to cut the deficit to 13-12. The Rebels tried to pull away but Canisius continued to battle and stay in the set, trying the score at 21-21 on a block from Streicher and Malusa. The teams traded four side-outs, but the Rebels won the last two points to take the set.
Canisius led for a majority of the second set, using a 6-1 run to go up 15-9. The Rebels got within one point at 20-19, but a three-point spurt, capped by a kill from Kline, put the Griffs up 23-19. Ole Miss would take advantage of Canisius miscues in the passing game and win the final six points of the set to go up 2-0 in the match.
Ole Miss broke open the third set with a seven-point run to go up 16-9. The Rebels hit .265 in the third set, their highest attack percentage of the match, and had four blocks as they completed the sweep.
Canisius plays two matches on the second day of the UB Invitational, taking on Lehigh University at 10 a.m. on Saturday and then the host University at Buffalo at 7 p.m.
Notes: Ole Miss was the first opponent from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in program history… Canisius had 10 service reception errors after posting double-digit reception errors in three matches last year… Bendy’s 11 kills gives Canisius a freshman with double-digit kills in her collegiate debut for the second straight year. Katlyn Tyler had 15 kills last year in the season opener.