|Jaspers Mount Incredible Comeback, Top Siena In Five|
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Over the past three seasons, the Manhattan College volleyball team has been virtually unbeatable in five-set matches. The Jaspers summoned some of that fifth-set magic on Sunday afternoon at Draddy Gymnasium. After dropping the first two sets, Manhattan (7-8, 2-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) rallied to force a decisive frame, then finished the job, knocking off Siena (8-8, 3-2 MAAC) 20-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 15-13. Manhattan has won 13 of its last 14 five-set matches, including four comebacks from 0-2 down since the start of the 2011 season.
"It seems like every time we go to the fifth set, we just really pull through," Head Coach Mark Jones said. "Being down 2-0, we came back with a lot of fight and a lot of energy, and we did some great things at the end."
The Jaspers scored the first two points of the fifth set and led 8-5 when the teams changed sides. However, Siena responded with five of the next six points to take its first lead of the decisive frame, 10-9. Malia McGuinness (Kailua, Hawaii) slammed a kill to tie it at 10-10, then the squads traded the next two points. Manhattan took a 12-11 lead when Siena was penalized a point because of a red card, but the Saints won the next point to even the score at 12-12.
It would be tied again at 13-13 before Mariana Furquim (Curitiba, Brazil) was credited with a kill that brought the Jaspers to match point. On the ensuing rally, Siena's Colleen Ahearn hit one long, giving Manhattan the set, 15-13, and capping the Jaspers' comeback win.
"We came back (after the 10-minute intermission) very focused and we were ready to play. I'm very excited about the W," Jones said.
In the first set, Manhattan jumped out to an early 5-3 lead before Siena rallied for eight of the next 10 points to take the lead, 11-7. With the Saints in front 16-12, Furquim slammed a kill that sparked a 4-0 Manhattan run to tie it at 16-16. However, Siena responded with a 6-2 spurt of its own to open up a 22-18 advantage, and the Saints held on to take the set by a 25-20 margin. Twenty of Siena's points in the first set came on kills, as the Saints hit .364 (four errors, 44 attempts) as a team in the opening frame.
The teams traded runs to open the second set. Manhattan took a 3-1 lead on a McGuinness service ace before Siena responded with the next three points to go up 4-3. After the Jaspers then rallied to take an 8-6 lead, the Saints went on a 5-0 run to build an 11-8 cushion. The Jaspers got back within one at 18-17, but Siena ended the set by claiming seven of the final nine points. Siena continued its solid hitting in set two. The Saints hit .419 (17-4-31) in the set, which they won 25-19 to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
The 10-minute intermission between sets two and three cooled the Siena offense down, as five hitting errors by the Saints helped the Jaspers build a 9-2 lead early in the set. Siena rallied back within 12-9 before a bump kill by Kelsey Huntoon (Monroe, Mich.) sparked a 6-1 rally that increased the Manhattan advantage to 18-10. The Saints eventually trimmed the margin to three at 22-19, but would get no closer, and a McGuinness kill capped a 25-21 set win by the Jaspers.
Long scoring runs by both teams marked a back-and-forth fourth set that featured 10 ties and six lead changes. Manhattan went up 3-0 before Siena rallied to take a 5-4 lead. The Jaspers then scored five of the next six points, taking a 9-6 advantage on a block by Jamie Collareta (Islip Terrace, N.Y.) and Juliana Behrens (Honolulu, Hawaii). However, Siena responded with a 6-1 spurt to open up a 13-10 cushion. The Jaspers again fought back, though, scoring seven of the next eight points to go up 17-14. After Siena used a 4-0 run to regain the lead, 18-17, Manhattan won eight of the next 11 points to clinch the set, 25-21, and send the match into a decisive fifth frame.
"Everybody did a great job," Jones said. "Our defense was really good. I think, overall, we really pulled together when it mattered the most."
Sydney Volovski (Oswego, Ill.) paced the Jaspers with 13 kills on .407 hitting. McGuinness added 10 kills and nine digs, while Collareta had a double-double with 40 assists and 10 digs. Alexa Lampasona (Remsenburg, N.Y.) slammed seven kills and hit .357 while also contributing three blocks. Furquim registered a team-high 21 digs, while Huntoon tallied 17 digs and Julie Bies (Massapequa, N.Y.) finished with 10 digs. As a team, Manhattan hit .158 (45-20-158) in the match.
Four Saints recorded double-digit kills, led by Ahearn and Rachel Stoklosa with 17 apiece. Stoklosa also tallied 19 digs. Jacqueline Skeen added 15 kills, while Taylor Akana had a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. Sarah Sivertson distributed 61 assists to go along with five kills, eight digs and seven blocks. Lesli Akeo returned a match-high 32 digs, as Siena outdug Manhattan 84-77. The Saints also had a 71-45 advantage in kills and won 105 total points to the Jaspers' 104. Siena hit .192 (71-33-198) as a team.Manhattan continues its six-match homestand on Wednesday night, when Rider (6-6, 0-3 MAAC) visits Draddy Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. contest.