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Volleyball Drops Five-Set, Senior Night Thriller

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 11/13/2010
Junior Danielle Brawn
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The Canisius College volleyball team rallied from a two-set deficit and trailed 8-2 in the fifth set, but could never come all the way back as the Golden Griffins lost a five-set match to Niagara University in the Koessler Athletic Center on Saturday night. The Purple Eagles won 25-18, 25-22, 21-25, 21-25, 22-20. The Golden Griffins finish the regular season with a 15-15 overall record and 11-7 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Sophomore Emily Elek led Canisius with 15 kills while sophomore Samantha Good had 10 kills. Junior Janelle Davis had a double-double with 35 assists and 16 digs while sophomore Allyson Severyn had a match-high 27 digs.

"Our emotional level met our effort level tonight, and we just didn't execute well enough in the end to beat the top team in our conference," Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. "We can't take away a win from this match, but I'm excited for next weekend's MAAC Tournament when our team plays with that kind of emotion and effort."

Niagara (22-8, 17-1 MAAC) controlled the early play, limiting Canisius to 16 combined kills in the first two sets. The Purple Eagles pulled away in the first set with a six-point run to take a 22-14 lead, en route to the 25-18 win. Canisius held a 22-20 lead in the second set, but Niagara won five straight points, including three kills from Kari Honomichl, to go up 2-0 in the match.

Canisius won five of the final six points to take the third set. With the score tied at 20-20, kills from Elek and Good started the run and another kill from Good gave Canisius the third-set win. The Griffs held the lead for the majority of the fourth set, breaking open a 17-17 tie with kills from senior Renee Lettow, Elek and Davis to go up 20-17. The Griffs maintained that lead and tied the match at two sets apiece with a solo block from senior Jasmine Brennan.

The fifth set featured eight match points before the Purple Eagles were able to win the match. Niagara went up 8-2, but Canisius won nine of the next 10 points to take an 11-9 lead. The teams were tied at 13-13 when a kill from Elek gave Canisius its first of five match points. Niagara would fight off two match points, and a service ace from Amanda Wilken gave Niagara its first of three match points at 16-15. Back-to-back kills from junior Danielle Brawn gave Canisius a 17-16 lead. After Honomichl and Brawn exchanged kills, another kill from Honomichl tied the score at 18-18.

A kill from freshman Roxanne Hernandez made the score 19-18, but kills from Hannah Hedrick and Wilken gave Niagara a 20-19 advantage. Elek had her 15th kill of the night to tie the match at 20-20, but kills from Wilken and Herdick would give Niagara the match.

Honomichl led all players with 26 kills, also posting a double-double with 12 digs. Hedrick had a double-double with 18 kills and 14 digs, while Michelle James had a double-double with 63 assists and 10 digs.

Canisius will participate in the 2010 MAAC Championship, starting on Thursday, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Pairings and match times will be announced on Sunday.

Match Notes: Prior to the start of the match, Canisius honored the three seniors in its 2010 class - Lettow, Brennan and Mary Curran, who had to end her collegiate volleyball career after her freshman season due to a medical condition... Niagara defeats Canisius for the fourth consecutive meeting... The Purple Eagles now hold a 9-6 lead in the 2010-11 Battle of the Bridge all-sports competition between the schools... Davis had a double-double for the fourth time in the last six matches... All four of Brawn's kills came in the fifth set... The 42 points in fifth set made it the longest in program history, with the previous record being 32 in a five-set loss (17-15) at Buffalo on Sept. 21, 2002... Severyn had 20-plus digs for the fifth time in the last six matches... Good had double-digit kills for the fourth straight match and for the 18th time in 2010... Junior Joanna Burt had a career-high nine digs and is averaging 2.07 digs in her last 14 sets... Hernandez had six kills, setting a career-high for the second consecutive match. Hernandez also had four blocks for the fourth time in the last five matches... Canisius had six players with two blocks and the 14 team blocks were the most on the season and most since recording 16 at Manhattan on Sept. 26, 2009

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