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Canisius volleyball cruises past Saint Peter’s to earn first MAAC victory


The Canisius volleyball team had three players with nine-or-more kills, as the Golden Griffins cruised to their first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory of the season, 3-0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-23), in Jersey City, N.J. With the win the Blue and Gold improved to 3-9 on the season, and 1-1 in conference action, while Saint Peter's dropped to 0-12 and 0-2 in MAAC play.
Canisius opened up the match with convincing, first and second set wins, 25-11 and 25-14, to stake claim to an early 2-0 lead headed into intermission.
Saint Peter's pushed back in the third frame, erasing an early one point deficit and scoring five-straight points, taking an 11-8 lead midway through the set. The Griffs answered the run with three straight points of their own thanks to a Peacocks' service error and kills from Leah Simmons and Claire Leonardknotting things up 11-11.
With the score tied 20-20, later in the frame, Canisius buckeled down and outscored Saint Peter's 5-3 down the stretch, including the match-clinching point out of a Peacock's timeout with the score 24-23, to earn the set win 25-23 and the match victory, 3-0.
Leonard paced the team once again, earning her seventh double-figure kill match, with 10. However, the Blue and Gold spread the offense around as Sara Wesley and Andrea Diaz Lopez both tallied nine kills. Both Wesley and Diaz Lopez had the team's best hitting percentage with marks of .615 and .467, respectively.
Cassidy Ceriani once again commanded the Griffs attack, leading the way in both assists (35) and digs (15). The double-double is the third-straight and sixth overall this season.
Sofia Lopez Acosta and Donnett Hickson also had double-digit digs, with 13 and 12, respectively.
"Today we put an emphasis on team defense," head coach Lenika Vazquez said. "We focused on being controlled and consistent. We dug deep and worked together for that win. It was nice to see our team hold onto the third set as well because Saint Peter's could taste the set victory. Conference play is going to be very competitive this year."'
• With the victory, Canisius is now 32-12 all-time against Saint Peter's.
• The Griffs have now won 15-straight games against the Peacocks and are 15-1 in the last sixteen contests.
• Leonard has notched 10-or-more kills in seven of 12 matches in her freshman season.
• Ceriani tallied her third-straight double-double on Sunday, and has notched six total.
The Blue and Gold now settle in for a four-match home stand, beginning with a pair of matches next weekend at the Koessler Athletic Center. Canisius hosts Siena on Saturday, Sept. 23 and Marist on Sunday, Sept. 24. Both matches begin at 1 p.m.