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Volleyball Stopped at Niagara 3-1

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 11/04/2005
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Niagara senior Michelle LeSouder hit .425 and posted a match-high 20 kills to lead the host Purple Eagles to a 3-1 (30-25, 27-30, 30-21, 30-22) win over Canisius College in MAAC volleyball action Saturday night in the Gallagher Center. The win improves Niagara to 14-8 overall and 4-3 in the MAAC, while the Golden Griffins slip to 8-16 overall and 2-5 in league play.

LeSounder had her 20 kills on 40 attack attempts to go with six block assists to lead a four Purple Eagle players with double figure kills. Fellow senior Stephanie Hopkins added 18 kills and 14 digs to the winning effort, while Erin Graham and Raelean Rush added 10 kills apiece. Graham was credited with 10 digs and two service aces for Niagara with junior libero Micole Daluisio posting a team-high 19 digs.

Three Canisius players were credited with 11 kills apiece. Juniors Leigh Launhardt (right), Mary Boller and Aislinn Hayes led the way offensively for the Griffs, with Launhardt adding three block assists in the losing effort. Freshman Brittany Gerde had 22 assists for Canisius. Sophomore Lauren Lackovich posted 16 assists and a match-high four service aces.

Canisius led 16-12 in the first game before Niagara rallied to take a 28-24 lead en route to the game one victory. In game two, the Griffs trailed 17-10, but fought back to eventually take a 29-26 lead. The Blue and Gold scored eight of the game's final nine points to post a 30-27 win and even the match at 1-1.

After a back-and-forth start to game three, the Purple Eagles jumped to a 17-10 margin on their way to a 30-21 win. The fourth game was close from the outset, but three Canisius hitting errors allowed Niagara to take a 21-15 lead. Niagara hit .310 as a team in the fourth and final game of the night, while holding the Griffs to a .095 team hitting percentage.

Niagara hit .278 as a team on the night and posted 16 total blocks (three solos and 26 block assists). Karen Simpson had a match-high eight block assists in the win and teammate Nicole Piette was credited with two solo stops and five block assists. Canisius hit .122 as a team with five team blocks. Junior Emily McNabb added two block assists in the loss. Canisius sophomore Jess Stackhouse had a match-high 21 digs for the Blue and Gold.

The Griffs will close out the 2005 regular season at home Nov. 11-12, with a pair of MAAC matches in the Koessler Athletic Center. Canisius will host Rider Nov. 11. Match time is set for 7 p.m.
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