The Canisius volleyball team won the final two sets and used 18 blocks to defeat Iona College in five sets in the Koessler Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Griffins won 25-20, 20-25, 17-25, 25-17, 15-13 to improve to 4-2 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Sophomore Rachel Kline had her first career double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. Senior Emily Elek had 13 kills and posted eight blocks for the third consecutive match. Senior Roxanne Hernandez had seven kills, a .429 attack percentage and a career-high 12 blocks. Junior Emily Litwin had 23 digs and freshman Katlyn Tyler had a career-high 21 digs while sophomore Grace Streicher posted 27 assists.
“It seems like we are either playing great or not very well and there hasn’t been an in-between level. Today’s match was a perfect example of that,” Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. “We started out well but fell into a lull in the middle of the match. We found some energy in the fourth set and were able to use the big run in the fifth set to complete a great win.”
Canisius went on a 6-1 run to break open a 19-19 tie and close out the first set. The Griffs had three of their five blocks in the set during that late run. Hernandez was a part of all three blocks, including a solo block to give Canisius the opening set.
Iona (5-11, 3-3 MAAC) evened the match by winning the second set and taking advantage of an 8-1 run to go up 13-8. Canisius could only get as two points as the Gaels pulled away to take the set. The Gaels went up 2-1 in the match by winning the third set, using four blocks early in the set to go up 7-2. Canisius got as close as three but Iona, who never trailed in the set, won the final five points to take the third set.
Canisius never trailed in the fourth set as the Griffs won the opening three points and never looked back. Canisius broke open the set with a four-point run to go up 15-9 on a block from Hernandez and Tyler, and Iona never seriously threatened as the Griffs forced a fifth set.
In the fifth set, Iona built a 7-3 lead, but Canisius won six straight points, including five on the serve of Streicher, to go up 9-7. Iona didn’t go away and held leads of 11-10 and 12-11. Canisius answered with kills from Kline and Elek to go up 13-12. After trading sideouts to give Canisius a set point, the jump serve of Tyler set up an Iona error and gave the match to the Griffs.
Catrina Warren had a double-double for Iona with 19 kills and 14 digs. Natalie Ziskin posted 52 assists while Taylor Cembalisty also had a double-double with 14 kills and 27 digs.
Canisius (6-11, 4-2 MAAC) wraps up its five-match homestand on Sunday, against Manhattan. Match time in the KAC is set for 1 p.m.
Notes: Hernandez is the third Golden Griffin in the last 10 seasons with 12 blocks in a match, matching Samantha Good (Sept. 27, 2009 vs. Manhattan) and Leigh Launhardt (Nov. 5, 2006 vs. Siena). She is averaging 1.73 blocks per set in the last eight matches… Canisius defeated Iona in the KAC for the second consecutive season… Kline set a career high with four service aces, coming into the match with eight service aces in her career… After no ties or lead changes in sets three and four, the fifth set featured seven ties and four lead changes... The 18 blocks for Canisius are the most since posting 21 against Siena on Nov. 5, 2006.