Volleyball downed by Fairfield, Quinnipiac in conference play
By: Vinnie Christiano
The Golden Griffins volleyball team dropped both contests over the weekend, dropping to 2-2 in MAAC play and 2-11 overall on the year.
The second weekend of a four-game homestand began against league-leading Fairfield on Saturday. The Stags, who were also last year’s regular season champions, entered this year as the favorite to win the conference.
Fairfield began Saturday with a victory in the first set, defeating the Griffs 25-21. That contest would be the closest of the day between the two teams, as Fairfield won the next two sets by margins of six and five points, respectively. Despite having leads early in all three sets, Canisius never led past the halfway point, and as a result the Stags swept the day in straight sets.
Head coach Shannon Thompson mentioned before the contests this past weekend that it would be a challenge, because of Fairfield’s “big hitters.” She said the same of the Quinnipiac Bobcats, who were the Griffs’ opponent on Sunday.
The Bobcats and the Griffs have met each of the past two seasons in the MAAC playoffs, and again it seems the path to a league championship will run through Quinnipiac. In the first set on Sunday, both teams exchanged the lead, but it was the Bobcats emerging with a 25-22 victory.
Canisius bounced back, claiming the second set by the same score. Both teams went on long scoring runs, but it was the Golden Griffins who were able to escape triumphantly. Quinnipiac quickly regained control in the following set, claiming a decisive 25-15 win in set three. In the fourth set, again the teams exchanged the lead, and Canisius led by a point late in the match, 18-17. However, the Bobcats regained control of the lead shortly after, and for the second time on the day won by a score of 25-22, closing out the match.
Junior libero Bree Long, who celebrated reaching 1000 career digs just the previous weekend, recorded a season high 32 digs in the Sunday contest. Seniors Ashley Kekeisen and Callie Chamulak both recorded double-digit assists, marking the fourth consecutive match both have made the accomplishment.
The loss dropped the Griffins down to fifth in the early-season conference standings. Their next two games are against MAAC teams that have struggled so far in the young season, as they will travel to 1-3(MAAC) Iona on Saturday and 0-3 (MAAC) Manhattan on Sunday. Both contests this weekend begin at 1 p.m.
Canisius will have a chance at revenge against the Stags and Bobcats on Oct. 23 & 24, when the blue and gold travel to Connecticut for another weekend against both teams. By that time, the Griffs will have faced every other MAAC team, aside from cross-town rival Niagara.