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Canisius volleyball opens 2018 season Aug. 24th in Cleveland

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Canisius volleyball team will officially open the 44th season in program history Friday, Aug. 24, when the Golden Griffins take part in the four-team Cleveland State Invitational, third-year head coach Lenika Vazquez announced Tuesday.
 
In all, the Griffs will play 27 regular-season matches in the 2018 campaign before heading south to take part in the 2018 MAAC Volleyball Championship at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Nov. 15-18.
 
Canisius will start the year with a pair of matches on the first day of the CSU Invitational, as the Blue and Gold meets Montana State and Binghamton before taking on the host Vikings Aug. 25 to close out the opening weekend of the season. The trip to Cleveland State's tournament is the first of three-straight non-league tournament weekends for Canisius, with the team traveling to take part in the Akron Invitational Sept. 1-2 and the Delta Hotel by Marriott Kalamazoo Conference Center Tournament, hosted by Western Michigan, Sept. 7-8.
 
In Akron, Canisius is set to meet the host Zips and Big Ten Conference member Maryland Sept. 1 before taking on Stony Brook Sept. 2. The trip to Kalamazoo, Mich., features a match against Milwaukee Sept. 7 before a pair of contests against host Western Michigan and Loyola Chicago Sept. 8.
 
The Griffs open the MAAC portion of the 2018 slate the weekend of Sept. 15-16, when the team travels to play at Marist and Siena. The Griffs' first home contests of the year are set for Sept. 22-23, when the Blue and Gold plays host to Saint Peter's and Rider. After a pair of road matches at Iona and Manhattan Sept. 29-30, Canisius will open the month of October at home with a pair of home league matches against defending conference champion Fairfield (Oct. 6) and Quinnipiac (Oct. 7).
 
A trip to New Jersey Oct. 13-14 opens a three-game MAAC road swing for the Blue and Gold. Following road contests at Rider (Oct. 13) and Saint Peter's (Oct. 14), Canisius travels north to meet long-time rival Niagara Oct. 18 in Lewiston, N.Y., for the first of two "Battle of the Bridge" match-ups. Canisius will close out October and open November at home with five-straight home dates, beginning Oct. 20 when the team plays host to Siena. Marist (Oct. 21), Manhattan (Oct. 27), Iona (Oct. 28) and Niagara (Nov. 3) will all visit the Griffs on Main Street during that homestand, with the second meeting of the season against the Purple Eagles standing as the program's annual Senior Day.
 
Canisius will close the 2018 regular season on the road at Quinnipiac (Nov. 10) and Fairfield (Nov. 11) before traveling to take part in the 10-team MAAC Volleyball Championship in Florida. The winner of the 2018 MAAC Volleyball Championship will earn the league's automatic berth into the 2018 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship.