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Canisius volleyball makes short work of Manhattan

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Melina Woods
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Canisius volleyball team continued its winning ways at home on Saturday, as the Golden Griffins swept visiting Manhattan 3-0 in MAAC volleyball action in the Koessler Athletic Center.

The Griffs won the match by scores of 25-11, 25-22, 25-15 to remain a perfect 7-0 at home this season. Canisius is now 13-10 overall and 11-3 in MAAC play, while the Jaspers slipped to 4-21 overall and 2-10 in conference action.
 
Canisius senior Sara Wesley and freshman Melina Woods led the way offensively for the Blue and Gold, with each player recording a match-high nine kills in the winning effort. Wesley was also credited with two block assists, while Woods chipped in in three digs, two service aces and a block assist. Freshman Camila Vazquezadded eight kills and junior Gabrielle Darnaby pounded down seven kills for Canisius, as the team hit .333 for the match, while junior setter Cassidy Ceriani was good for 30 assists, seven digs and four aces. Senior libero Sofia Lopez Acosta earned 17 digs, two aces and a kill to Canisius' winning effort on Saturday, as the team extended its home win streak to 10-straight, dating back to last season.
 
Vivian Donovan had a team-high six kills in the loss for Manhattan, which entered the match with wins in four of its last six contests. Setter Shruti Mangipudi was credited with 14 assists for the Jaspers, who hit .122 on the day and allowed 12 Canisius service aces.
 
The Griffs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the match after taking the first set 25-11. In the opening session, the Blue and Gold hit .464 as a team, with Woods collecting six kills on six swings. Canisius took advantage of five services aces in the first set as well, as Ceriani and fellow junior Carly Shifflet each recording a pair. In the second set, Manhattan evened the set at 21-21 thanks to a service ace by Sandra Lozanova, but after a Canisius timeout, the Griffs took advantage of back-to-back errors by Manhattan and kills from Wesley and Shifflet to score the 25-22 victory.
 
In the third set, Wesley and junior Leah Simmons each had three kills and Manhattan posted a .000 attack percentage, as the home team scored the 25-15 victory to end the contest. The sweep on Saturday by Canisius gives the Blue and Gold a regular season sweep of Manhattan after the Griffs defeated the Jaspers 3-1 in Riverdale, N.Y., back on Sept. 30.
 
Head coach Lenika Vazquez's Postgame Comments
"Being able to spread it around and not have a team where you have to have a go-to player just helps us flow through the game a little bit more. It makes us less predictable, I'm sure Cassidy loves it because she gets to move the ball around a lot even though she loves running the middle.
 
"I'm humbled because we work very hard and it's nice to be able to hear that we're competing for first place. I'm just going to wait until the last ball drops on the last weekend before MAACs, and then I'll let myself live in it a little bit and then get ready for the MAAC Championship."

Game Notes
• Saturday marked the 46th all-time meeting in volleyball between the two schools. Canisius now leads the series 29-17.
• The Griffs have now beaten Manhattan in four straight and in five of the last six meetings between the programs, dating back to 2016.
• Saturday's 3-0 win by Canisius is the Griffs' fifth sweep at home this season. The last time Canisius had five or more sweeps at home came in 2007 when the team earned six victories by the score of 3-0.
• In the last five matches, Canisius has collected a total of 41 services aces against 14 from its opponents.
• Ceriani is just 61 assists shy of becoming the fifth player in program history to record 2,500 career assists.
• Wesley has now recorded six or more kills in 19 of the team's last 20 matches.
 
Up Next
Canisius will continue its five-match homestand on Sunday, when the Golden Griffins play host to MAAC-leader Iona in the Koessler Athletic Center. Match time is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.