LEWISTON, N.Y. Ė The Canisius College volleyball team took game one, but Niagara took the next three to defeat the Golden Griffins 26-30, 30-24, 30-23, 30-23 Sunday afternoon at the Gallagher Center.
Renee Lettow (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) led Canisius (7-14, 5-5 MAAC) with 15 kills while Michelle Godfrey (North Tonawanda, N.Y.) had 11 and Michella Domo (Vancouver, B.C.) had 10 and also hit a team-best .320 in the match. Brittany Gerde (Cincinnati, Ohio) was one kill short of a triple-double as the junior setter had nine kills, 23 assists and a career-high 17 digs. Jess Stackhouse (Warsaw, N.Y.) had a match-high 33 digs.
The Griffs jumped out to the early lead in game one, but Niagara battled back to keep it close for the majority of the game. Canisius pulled away five-point run to go up 24-18 and take the one-game lead.
Niagara came back in game two by going on an 8-2 run to turn a 9-9 tie into a 17-11 advantage and eventually even the match. The Purple Eagles did the same in game three, establishing a lead midway through the game by winning five straight points to go up 20-15.
In the fourth game, Niagara went up from the start and were ahead by as much as 10 at 19-9. Canisius tried to rally, but it came too late and the Purple Eagles won in four.
“We came out flat today and never established a consistent energy level,” Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. “That is crucial in any conference match, especially when you play in the gym of your crosstown rival.”
Raelean Rush led Niagara (5-13, 3-7) with 24 kills while Nicole Piette had 18 and Maurin Lawrence had 15. Mallory Boron had a match-high 63 assists.
Canisius returns to the Koessler Athletic Center for two matches next weekend when the Golden Griffins host Iona on Saturday, and Fairfield on Sunday.
Match Notes: Stackhouse went over 30 digs for the third time this season... Canisius lost for just the second time in the last eight matches between the schools... The Canal Cup was presented to Niagara after the second game as the Purple Eagles won the 2007 Battle of the Bridge. Canisius currently holds a 4-2 lead in this year’s competition... The four solo blocks by Domo were the most since Leigh Launhardt had five against Siena Nov. 5, 2006.
Niagara Defeats Volleyball in Four
Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics