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  • Stephen Lapage

Volleyball breaks records while going 1-1 in final home games

By Stephen Lapage

After winning two matches on the road, the Canisius volleyball team traveled back to Buffalo to host Rider and Saint Peter’s. These would be the Griffs last home games of the season, making each game crucial for their future:

Canisius opened up its homestand on Saturday against Rider, a team who fought the Griffs up until the last set in the last match. The Griffs started off strong in the first set by a score of 25–19. Rider struck back, taking the second set 25–19, as well. The Griffs turned their focus to offense as they dominated the third set, winning 25–17. With Rider hanging by the ropes, they were able to come out of the fourth set with a 25–20 win. As the game entered the fifth and final set, tensions were high on both sides, both teams hoping to not make a mistake. Rider jumped out to an 8–3 lead and never let go of the win as they took the fifth set 15–12. Rider won the match by a score of three sets to two.

Despite the loss, the Griffs captured 21 service aces in the five set match, the most in program history. Leading the way for the Griffs for this record was sophomore Alyssa Rich, who had seven of the 21 service aces. Junior Kara Zaucha led the offense with 14 kills, and sophomore Ella Bourque tallied 43 assists.

The Griffs bounced back in their last home game of the season against Saint Peter’s. The Griffs dominated in the performance, never letting Saint Peter’s reach above 17 points in a match. Canisius swept Saint Peter’s in three sets, winning the sets 25–16, 25–17 and 25–14.

Graduate student Ella Loussia led the team with 15 kills and three service aces. Bourque grabbed 32 assists, making this the 14th time this season she tallied 30 or more assists in a game this season. Rich tallied 14 digs in the game, while Zaucha and sophomore Bella Mosquera each grabbed two blocks.

When talking to Bourque, she said that anytime the team is struggling, they “have a lot of energy, and our chemistry allows us to kind of rely on each other now. We know we have each other's backs, like if you're taking a big swing, you know that you have people covering you kind of stuff like that.”

“We want to come out strong and end strong,” said Bourque as she looks ahead to the end of the season.

The Griffs look to carry their energy into the weekend as they close their season on the road against MAAC opponents Iona and Manhattan. The Griffs will play Iona on Saturday at noon and Manhattan on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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