The Canisius volleyball team lost in five sets to Fordham University and then fell in three sets to host West Virginia on day one of the Mountaineer Invitational on Friday. Fordham defeated the Griffs 21-25, 25-22, 26-28, 25-19, 17-15 and West Virginia won 25-11, 25-18, 25-20.
“Due to injury and disciplinary actions, we had a short bench against Fordham and that really hurt us in the close match. We weren’t able to use our traditional depth to our advantage when we needed it,” Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. “West Virginia out-executed us and showed why they are a very good team.
“We have to turn the page quickly, regroup and stay focused on the process. That isn’t easy right now with this tough start to the season, but it’s our challenge right now to do that and find a good team chemistry and lineup to make us successful.”
Fordham 3, Canisius 2
Fordham led for a majority of the first set and was up 16-12 before the Griffs chipped away at the lead. Canisius went up 21-20 on a kill from sophomore Rachel Kline. After the Rams evened the score, the Griffs won the final four points of the set, including a kill from freshman Jacklyn Malusa and blocks from seniors Roxanne Hernandez and Emily Elek as well as Kline, to take the first set.
After Fordham (2-3) took the second set, Canisius used a five-point run capped by a kill from sophomore Amy Osinski to jump out to a 10-4 lead in the third set. The Griffs extended the lead to 18-8 before Fordham came storming back with a 12-1 run to take a 20-19 lead. Fordham fought off two set points to force extra points, and then the Griffs fought off two set points to make it 26-26. The Griffs again used blocks from Kline and Hernandez to take the set and a 2-1 lead in the match.
Fordham led for a majority of the fourth set and pulled away late to force a decisive fifth set. The teams went back and forth in the fifth set, which featured 10 ties and four lead changes. The Rams took an 11-8 lead before Canisius came back by scoring the next three points, capped by a kill from Malusa, to even the score at 11-11. Fordham won the next two points but the Griffs knotted the score again, using a block from Elek and Hernandez to make it 13-13. Canisius fought off a match point and earned its own match point at 15-14, but the Rams staved off the loss and made it 15-15. Fordham won the next two points and took the match.
Senior Sydney Palka had her second double-double of the season with 24 assists and 10 digs. Elek posted 15 kills, nine digs and six blocks while Hernandez had 12 kills, a .360 attack percentage and six blocks. Osinski had four kills on seven attack attempts for the second straight match.
West Virginia 3, Canisius 0
West Virginia (5-0) took the first set by scoring 18 of the final 20 points. In the second set, the Mountaineers again broke it open midway through by scoring seven of the last 10 points to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set featured 10 ties and six lead changes, and Canisius went up 14-12 after a kill from Kline. West Virginia would score the next four points and not yield the lead the rest of the match. A kill from Elek made it 20-18 but a four-point spurt gave West Virginia control of the set and eventually the match to the Mountaineers.
Kline and fellow sophomore Lauren Siebert had seven kills against West Virginia, with Kline also posting two blocks.
Canisius (0-6) concludes play at the Mountaineer Invitational on Saturday, taking on Norfolk State (10 a.m.) and Navy (2 p.m.)
Notes: The five-set match was the first match to go the distance this season for the Griffs… Canisius had 13 blocks against Fordham, the most blocks for the Griffs since they had 15 against Loyola on Oct. 28, 2012… Malusa posted 15 digs against Fordham, the second time in three matches with double-digit digs for the freshman… Junior Emily Litwin posted 34 digs on the day and has double-digit digs in five of the six matches.