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Canisius volleyball wins home opener over Saint Peter’s

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Leah Simmons
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Canisius volleyball team defeated Saint Peter's to kick off its first home weekend of the 2018 season, 3-1 (25-21, 25-11, 22-25, 25-13).
 
Leah Simmons was again the focal point of the Golden Griffins' offense, tallying 16 kills at a .323 hitting clip. The junior also added two digs and two total blocks in the home opener.
 
The opening set saw Saint Peter's take the early lead before the Griffs used a 5-0 run to take the lead and never looked back for the win, 25-21. Sara Wesley was hot early, racking up five kills in the first set.
 
In the second set, a 7-0 stretch by the Blue and Gold broke the tie propelled the team past the Peacocks, 25-11. Cassidy Ceriani notched 12 assists in the set, while Camila Vazquez knocked down six kills. The third set did not go in the Griffs' favor, as a back-and-forth match went to Saint Peter's, 25-22. Ceriani was able to add 14 more assists and Wesley recorded another five kills in the losing effort.
 
In what turned out to be the final set of the match, Canisius went on a 13-2 streak that saw them pull away for the victory in the fourth set, 25-13. Simmons closed it out with five kills, while Sofia Lopez Acosta recorded eight digs.
 
Overall, Simmons was followed by Wesley with 13 kills. The freshman pair of Vazquez (11) and Melina Woods (10) both tallied double-digit kills. Vazquez led the team with five total blocks and Woods added in four of her own. Ceriani earned another double-double, registering 44 assists and 11 digs to go with a trio of kills, while Lopez Acosta finished with 20 digs to start her birthday off right. Ashley Kekeisen chipped in 10 digs for the Griffs in the win.
 
On the Saint Peter's side, Angelleyshka Curbelo had 13 kills, hitting at a .270 clip, while Angelee Ng recorded 31 assists. Karla Seda added 16 kills in the loss.
 
For Canisius, they move to 4-8, improving their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference record to 2-1. As for the Peacocks, they drop to 3-14 overall and 1-3 in MAAC play.
 
Game Notes:
• Ceriani now sits at 2,065 career assists, passing Mary Beth Sands for seventh all-time and needing 15 more assists to tie Kelly Sieber for sixth in program history.
• Saturday's meeting between Canisius and Saint Peter's was the 46th time the two Jesuit schools met in volleyball, with the Griffs holding a 33-13 lead in the series.
• Canisius has now defeated Saint Peter's in 17-straight meetings.
• The Griffs have now won five-straight MAAC home openers, dating back to the 2014 campaign.
• Simmons has recorded double-digit kills in three of the team's last four matches.
• Lopez Acosta has been credited with 12 or more digs in every match this season, and her team-high 20 digs on Saturday marks the sixth time this year she's posted 20-or more digs in a match.
• Ceriani has now recorded a double-double effort in each of the team's last three matches after she posted 45 assists and 11 digs on Saturday. She has 40-plus assists in four of the team's last seven outings.
• Canisius heads to Jersey City, N.J., on Oct. 14 to complete the season series against Saint Peter's.
 
Quote from Coach Vazquez:
"It's so wonderful to be at home today. We've been on the road for four straight weekends, so to be home and have the energy that they had, it was definitely a team effort. There were moments where we really rallied together and picked up defense to get the win today."
 
Up Next:
Canisius closes their first homestand by hosting Rider Sunday, in a match that can be seen on EPSN3. That contest is set for a 1 p.m. start in the Koessler Athletic Center.