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  • Colton Pankiewicz

Volleyball snaps an ice cold September, splitting their weekend series

By Colton Pankiewicz, Sports Editor

Heading into last weekend, Canisius carried a record of 2–8 on the season, and more importantly 0–2 in MAAC play. An impressive sweep against Manhattan in what was their first conference home game this season, followed by a five-set loss to Iona, moved the Griffs to 1–3 in conference play.

Saturday saw Canisius secure their second sweep of the season while holding the Jaspers to scores of 15, 22, and 13 in the race to 25 points. In the win, junior Kara Zaucha posted a double-double, marking 10 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Ella Bourque looked like her 2022 self again, claiming 35 of the Griffs 38 assists.

Zaucha and Bourque both notched three service aces each, which is something head coach Tom Hanna said he wanted more of heading into the weekend. Bella Mosquera also had a “really really good day,” Hanna added.

Canisius used the momentum from their Saturday win to start off their Sunday, winning their first two sets against Iona. The Griffs were on the verge of back-to-back sweeps before Iona’s Jen Soto — with a career-high of 20 kills — and Hope Matschner — with a career-high of 51 digs — put a wrench in Canisius’s plan and won the set 25–23. Canisius battled in a tight fourth set before falling 25–22 and allowing a fifth set that Iona claimed by a score of 15–10.

Even in the tough loss, the Griffs still had their bright spots, as freshman Lauren Hubert posted a career-high 18 kills, earning Hubert her second MAAC Rookie of the Week award. Additionally, for the fourth time in her young career, Ella Bourque surpassed the 50 mark for assists, finishing with a career-tying 55. “We couldn’t connect the dots between good passing and being terminal,” said Hanna after coming up short against Iona.

Canisius has rival Niagara next on the schedule, featuring a match at home on Saturday and another match on the road at Niagara on Sunday. Hanna gave credit to the Purple Eagles, saying over the past few weeks, they’ve seemed to “figure more out about themselves.” Canisius has an opportunity to leapfrog their long-time rivals as Niagara sits at 2–2 in conference play, and lies just a single game ahead of the Griffs in the standings.

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