|Season Ends With 3-1 Loss at Siena|
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Needing a win and some help to qualify for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships, the Manhattan College volleyball team instead saw its season come to an end on Sunday afternoon. The Jaspers (16-15, 9-9 MAAC) won the first set, but were eliminated after Siena took the next two. The Saints (13-14, 11-7 MAAC) then finished off a 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17 victory at UHY Court at the Alumni Recreation Center.
The postseason fate of each team rested on this match, which took on a playoff feel from the opening serve. Siena opened up a 6-3 lead early in the first set, but Manhattan trimmed its deficit to one when a LaKell Havens (St. George, Utah) block made it 9-8. The Saints scored five of the next seven points to go back up by four, 14-10, before a 4-0 Manhattan rally tied the score. Siena earned the next three points to go back up 17-14, but the Jaspers again tied it on a Malia McGuinness (Kailua, Hawaii) kill and consecutive Hollegn Henderson (Long Beach, Calif.) service aces. The Jaspers took the lead, 21-20, on a kill by Mariana Furquim (Curitiba, Brazil), then increased their advantage to 22-20 on a block by Havens and Henderson. After Siena rallied for the next two points to tie it for the ninth time, Manhattan won three of the next four to secure a 25-22 set win.
The second set also featured nine ties, and neither team was able to take a lead of more than two points until the Saints used a 4-1 run to turn a 15-15 deadlock into a 19-16 advantage. Manhattan pulled back within two at 21-19, but Siena hit .400 (14 kills, two errors, 30 attempts) in the set to notch a 25-20 win and even the match at one set apiece.
Siena carried its momentum into the third set, opening up a 10-3 advantage. However, the Jaspers immediately countered with a 7-1 run, getting back within one when a block by Furquim and Brittany DeGagne (Penticton, B.C.) made it 11-10. Manhattan eventually tied the score at 14-14 before Siena rallied for three of the next four points to regain an 18-15 lead. The Jaspers once again battled back, and they took a 20-19 advantage on an Alexa Lampasona (Remsenburg, N.Y.) kill. The seesaw pace continued, though, and Siena claimed six of the next eight points to earn a 25-22 set win.
Having already been eliminated from the MAAC Tournament race (Manhattan had to win in either three or four sets), the Jaspers jumped out to a 3-1 cushion early in the fourth set. Siena responded with a 10-3 run to go in front 11-6 before Manhattan used a 6-1 spurt of its own to close the gap. After a Havens kill trimmed the Jaspers' deficit to 13-12, Siena rallied to extend its cushion to six points, 21-15. Manhattan won the next two points, but Siena took the next four to wrap up the set, 25-17, and a 3-1 victory. With the win, Siena clinched the No. 3 seed in next weekend's MAAC Championships.
McGuinness concluded her freshman campaign with her 11th double-double of the season. She tallied a team-high 11 kills and 10 digs. Furquim notched nine kills and 13 digs, while Lampasona added eight kills and five blocks. Playing in her final collegiate match, DeGagne had seven kills on .316 hitting. She also posted a career-high eight blocks. Fellow senior Havens recorded seven kills and five blocks. Henderson dished out 35 assists, and Kelsey Huntoon (Monroe, Mich.) contributed a match-high 20 digs. As a team, the Jaspers hit .112 (42-25-152) in the match.
Taylor Akana recorded a match-high 15 kills and 16 digs to lead the Saints. Rachel Stoklosa also had a double-double for Siena, posting 12 kills and 10 digs, while Sarah Sivertson notched 49 assists and 11 digs. Jacqueline Skeen contributed 14 kills and six blocks, and Colleen Ahearn finished with 10 kills. Elizabeth Ives had 10 digs to go along with four blocks. Lesli Akeo registered 16 digs, as the Saints outdug the Jaspers 66-63. Siena hit .295 (61-17-149) as a team.
Manhattan ended up tied with Iona for sixth place in the final MAAC standings, just behind Canisius and Marist, who were both 10-8. The Griffs held the tiebreaker over the Red Foxes, giving them the fourth berth in the MAAC Championships. Niagara won the MAAC regular season title with a 17-1 conference record and will take on Canisius in the semifinals. Siena will play second-seeded Fairfield (16-2 MAAC) in the other semifinal.