The Canisius volleyball team returned to the Koessler Athletic Center for its first home match in 20 days and swept visiting Rider University on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Griffins won 25-22, 25-21, 25-22 to win their third straight match and improve to 9-13 overall and 7-4 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Senior Roxanne Hernandez had nine kills on just 11 attack attempts, posting an .818 attack percentage. Sophomore Rachel Kline posted her third double-double of the season with 13 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Olivia Chrzanowski had eight kills and six digs in two sets off the bench while junior Emily Litwin recorded 20 digs.
“We had to go to our bench today and got quality production from players who have been practicing very well. I was really happy to see that carry over to the game when we had to call on them,” Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. “We got off to a slow start, but I was proud of the way we quickly changed the play on our side of the net. We need to continue to focus on that against Saint Peter’s on Sunday.”
Rider (12-9, 3-7 MAAC) jumped out to a quick 9-4 lead before the Griffs used an 8-1 run, including two service aces from senior Sydney Palka, to go up 12-10. The Griffs extended their lead to 20-15 after a kill from sophomore Lauren Siebert, but the Broncs won the next six points, including three straight blocks, to go up 21-20. Hernandez would help close out the set, getting back-to-back kills to put Canisius up 24-22 en route to taking the first set.
Canisius did not trail in the second set but could never pull away from the Broncs until late. Canisius went up 15-10 on a service ace off the tape from Kline, but the Broncs used a 5-1 run to cut the Canisius lead to 16-15. Three straight points from the Griffs, including a block from Hernandez and senior Emily Elek, put Canisius up 20-16 as the Griffs went on to put the set away.
The third set featured a number of back-and-forth swings, with Canisius going up 5-1 but the Broncs coming back with a 7-2 run to go up by one. Canisius answered right back with four straight points, capped by a block from Siebert and freshman Gabrielle Vetere, to take an 11-8 lead. Rider battled back and eventually used a 9-2 spurt to go up 18-15 on back-to-back service aces. Out of a timeout, the Griffs won five straight points, including two kills from Chrzanowski, to take a 20-18 lead. The Broncs didn’t go quietly, winning three straight points to go up 21-20, but the Griffs came right back with three straight points, including two more kills from Chrzanowski, to take a 23-21 lead. After trading side-outs, Chrzanowski closed out the match with a service ace.
Canisius wraps up the weekend on Sunday, when the Golden Griffins host Saint Peter’s. Match time is set for 1 p.m.
Notes: Canisius has now won the last 15 meetings with Rider… Litwin posted 20 or more digs for the fifth time in the last six matches… The seven blocks for Siebert match her season high, which came on Sept. 29, against Siena… In the last three matches, Hernandez is averaging 2.50 kills per set and hitting .649 on 37 attack attempts… Canisius had 10 or more blocks for the eighth time this season.