The Canisius volleyball team dropped its final two matches in the Mountaineer Invitational on Saturday. Norfolk State defeated the Golden Griffins 19-25, 25-20, 26-28, 25-19, 15-13 while Navy defeated Canisius 25-9, 28-26 and 25-17.
“We have to work through some discomfort on our own side of the net in addition to preparing for the other team,” Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. “Our record isn’t what anybody wants it to be right now, but two bad weeks hasn’t shaken the confidence we have in ourselves."
Norfolk State 3, Canisius 2
Canisius took the opening set, gaining control of the first set with a five-point run on the serve of sophomore setter Grace Streicher and extending the lead to 16-9. The Griffs closed the set out with their first block of the match, which came from sophomores Rachel Kline and Lauren Siebert. In the second set, Norfolk State used a four-point run to take a 12-8 lead and never yielded the advantage en route to evening the match.
Norfolk State (2-4) jumped out to an 11-6 lead in the third set before the Griffs used another run on the serve of Streicher, scoring six straight points to go up 12-11. The set featured 12 ties and five lead changes, and Canisius would take the set on its fourth set point with a kill from freshman Jacklyn Malusa. In the fourth set, Canisius took a 17-13 lead after a block from Streicher and fellow sophomore Amy Osinski, but the Spartans rallied by scoring the next six points and winning 12 of the last 14 points to force a fifth set.
The Spartans built on that momentum, scoring the first three points of the fifth set and building leads of 8-3 and 12-6. Canisius faced a deficit of 14-7 and rode the serve of senior Jessica Warner to fight off six match points, but Norfolk State closed out the match on its seventh chance. The Griffs hit .429 in the fifth set but couldn’t overcome four service errors.
Kline led Canisius with a career-high 12 kills while senior Emily Elek had a double-double with 11 kills and 19 digs. Senior Sydney Palka also had a double-double with 23 assists and 14 digs.
Navy 3, Canisius 0
Navy easily took the first set before the teams played a tight second set. Navy led for a majority of the set, including a 20-15 advantage, before Canisius made its run. An 8-2 spurt, capped by a kill from Osinski, gave the Griffs its first lead of the set at 23-22. A kill from Malusa gave Canisius a set point at 24-23, but Navy staved it off and had a set point of its own at 26-25. The Griffs held that off but Navy converted on its second set point to go up 2-0 in the match.
Navy (3-3) jumped out to an 11-6 lead before Canisius chipped away and got within two at 15-13. The Griffs made it a one-point deficit at 18-17 after another Navy attack error, but the Mids wouldn’t relinquish the lead and took the final seven points of the set to close out the match.
Malusa posted a career-high 11 kills, her second match of the day with double-digit kills while Elek added 13 digs.
Canisius (0-8) returns to the court next weekend for the Bucknell Invitational in Lewisburg, Pa. The Griffs open against Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday, with match time set for 5 p.m.
Notes: Junior Emily Litwin was named to the All-Tournament Team... Canisius has played six sets that have gone to extra points in eight matches this season. The Griffs are 2-4 in those sets… Palka now has three double-doubles on the season… Kline had a career high in kills for the second time this season… Elek averaged 4.00 digs per set on the day to go along with 2.25 kills per set and a .241 attack percentage... Osinski had 10 kills on 17 attack attempts in the two matches.