Leigh Launhardt posted 17 kills, three solo blocks and five block assists to lead the Canisius volleyball team to a 3-2 (30-19, 26-30, 30-28, 25-30, 15-6) Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory over Niagara Saturday night at the Koessler Athletic Center.
Christina Wildes recorded 18 kills and 15 digs, while Kim Hoffman posted 17 kills and 15 digs for the Griffs. Jackie Reed tallied 43 assists and 12 digs, Kerry McNamee added eight assists and 12 digs, and Kelly Sieber was credited with a game-high 27 digs.
Michelle LeSouder led Niagara with 21 kills, while Karen Simpson and Melanie Wilson recorded 10 kills each. Micole Daluisio tallied 24 digs, and Jennifer Hansford posted 52 assists and 17 digs. With Canisius leading 5-4 in the deciding game, the Griffs got a point off a Hoffman kill after a long rally. Canisius won the next seven points on McNamee’s serve to take control of the match.
The Griffs posted six team blocks, and Niagara hit -.036 as Canisius cruised in the first game, winning 30-19. Niagara rallied for a 30-26 victory in the second game to tie the match 1-1. Canisius came back from a 28-26 deficit in the third game as Wildes posted two kills during the run, and the Griffs won 30-28. The Purple Eagles led 26-25 in the fourth game and ran off four straight points to force the fifth.
Canisius improves to 6-14 overall and 2-1 in the MAAC with the victory, while Niagara falls to 5-18 overall and 1-2 in the conference. The Griffs return to action Sunday as they host Syracuse at 4 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center.