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  • Colton Pankiewicz

Volleyball dominates the weekend, notches two match sweep.

By Colton Pankiewicz, Sports Editor

It took until the month of October to see the Griffs play their best volleyball, but after sweeping Saint Peters last Saturday, and sweating out a five set victory against Rider on Sunday, the team is showing promise.

The Griffs set out to New Jersey on Saturday against a struggling Saint Peters program. The Peacocks came into the weekend winless, and left winless after Canisius swept them in three sets. Coming into the weekend, Tom Hanna’s team struggled with self-inflicted errors, and a low hitting percentage. This was not the case on Saturday as Canisius’ Kalia Reisma, Bella Mosquera, and Emma Mans each hit over .500. The Griffs were knotted with the Peacocks at 11 in the first set before a 10–4 Canisius run blew the frame open. Kara Zaucha’s two kills and Jillian Hanna’s service ace were the perfect remedy to hand the Golden Griffins a 25–17 victory in the first set. The second set saw the blue and gold once again tied with Saint Peters, this time at 17. Lauren Hubert’s kill was the catalyst for an 8–2 run as Canisius claimed another set, this time by a score of 25–19. Another tight affair occurred in the third set before a 6–1 run put a nail in the coffin for the Peacocks, handing the Griffs the sweep.

Canisius stayed in the Garden State for their second match of the weekend, this time against Rider, who came into the contest above the .500 mark against MAAC opponents. The Griffs set the Broncs back to even in conference play after pulling away in the fifth set. Canisius was actually on the verge of back-to-back sweeps, winning the first two sets before Rider came out on top in the third and fourth sets. The fifth set came down to the wire as both teams were knotted at 15. With the “win by two” format it took for a Broncs service error, to give the Griffs the upper hand before freshman Lauren Hubert’s 16th kill, gave Canisius the win. In the match, Kara Zaucha claimed a career-high 20 kills, while Jillian Hannah tied her career high of 24 digs. Hubert shined once again, with 25 digs to go along with her 16 kills, one of those being the deciding factor in the fifth set. “We’ve put a ton of weight on her (Hubert’s) shoulders very early. She's done a very good job as a freshman of handling it,” said head coach Tom Hanna.

Sitting at seventh in the conference at 3–5, Canisius has a prime opportunity to upset first place Marist at home on Saturday. “We’re gonna be more varied in our attack, I like us to be very aggressive. I think we’ll be able to tip balls to spots that we wouldn’t be able to normally,” said Hanna. The Griffs play host again on Sunday against the Siena Saints who sit one game behind Canisius in the standings.

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