Manhattan Faces Must-Win at Siena
RIVERDALE, NY – With three matches remaining in the regular season, the Manhattan College volleyball team knows that it must win them all in order to have a shot at qualifying for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament. The Jaspers (10-19, 6-9 MAAC), who are coming off a 3-0 victory at Marist on Thursday night, face the first of those must-win contests at Siena (9-16, 8-7 MAAC) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Manhattan concludes its road schedule looking for its second straight win. The Jaspers notched a 3-0 triumph over Marist on Thursday night. Senior Milena Janjusevic (Belgrade, Serbia), who had 17 kills against the Red Foxes, paces Manhattan with 2.82 kills per set. Senior Ivana Kostic (Grocka, Serbia) boasts a .296 hitting percentage to go along with 2.28 kills and a team-best 0.67 blocks per set. Senior Allie Yamashiro (Kapolei, HI) averages a squad-leading 4.26 digs per set, while sophomore Zoe Lindsey’s (McHenry, IL) 9.14 assists per frame are second-most in the MAAC.
Siena has won each of its last four matches, including a 3-0 triumph over Iona on Saturday. Senior Briana Flagg, the reigning MAAC Player of the Year, is fourth in the league with 3.43 kills per set. She also registers 2.23 digs per frame. Senior Kalehua Katagiri paces the MAAC with 5.10 digs per set, while junior Samantha Pethokoukis is the conference leader in hitting percentage (.354). Pethokoukis adds 0.90 blocks per set, fifth-most in the MAAC. Senior Haley Howell, meanwhile, distributes 8.88 assists per set to rank fourth in the conference.
When the Jaspers and Saints met at Draddy Gymnasium on Oct. 1, Siena came away with a five-set victory. The Saints have won five of the last six meetings between the squads, and Manhattan hasn’t beaten Siena at the Alumni Recreation Center since Oct. 9, 2010. However, the Jaspers did defeat Rider in the first round of last season’s MAAC Tournament in Loudonville.
LAST TIME OUT
On Thursday night, the Jaspers snapped a two-match losing streak with a 3-0 victory at Marist. Siena, meanwhile, is riding a four-match winning streak. The Saints recorded a straight-sets victory over Iona on Saturday.
In order to qualify for the six-team MAAC Tournament, Manhattan needs to win each of its remaining matches. The Jaspers are currently in seventh place with a 6-9 conference record. Manhattan trails Siena by two in the loss column, so the Jaspers also need the Saints to lose one of their two matches next weekend. The Jaspers need to beat the Saints in either three or four sets to guarantee the tiebreaker should the two teams end up deadlocked.
HEAD COACH MARK JONES
Mark Jones is in his eighth season as Manhattan’s head coach. The 2010 MAAC Coach of the Year, he’s the second-winningest coach in program history. Jones has a career record of 130-124 and is just two wins away from matching Pete Volkert’s all-time mark of 132 victories. He has led the Jaspers to three straight 20-win seasons (four overall).
TOP 25 VOTER
Head Coach Mark Jones was recently named a voter in the AVCA Coaches Poll. He is one of 64 selectors (two from each conference) responsible for choosing the weekly top 25. Jones was also appointed to the All-Region committee.
The Jaspers conclude the regular season by welcoming Niagara and Canisius to Draddy Gymnasium next weekend. Manhattan hosts the Purple Eagles (11-16, 9-6 MAAC) at 1 p.m. on Saturday, then takes on the Griffs (6-18, 4-11 MAAC) at 1 p.m. on Sunday.