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Canisius volleyball scores sweep of Quinnipiac to move to 4-0 at home

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Camila Vazquez
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Canisius junior Leah Simmons pounded down 17 kills on 31 attempts and freshman Camilla Vazquez added 10 kills, a solo block and four block assists to help lead the Golden Griffins to a 3-0 sweep of Quinnipiac Sunday afternoon in MAAC volleyball action in the Koessler Athletic Center. Canisius, which is off to its first 4-0 start at home in program history, won the match by scores of 25-15, 25-17, 25-19.
 
Canisius, which has now won three straight and six of its last seven, improved to 8-9 overall and 6-2 in MAAC action with the victory, while the Bobcats fell to 3-14 overall and 2-5 in league play.
 
Simmons' 17 kills served as a match-high, and she also recorded three digs, two block assists and an assist in the win. She hit .452 for the match, while Vazquez ended the contest hitting .562 with her 10 kills coming on 16 swings with just one attack-error. Junior setter Cassidy Ceriani recorded 34 assists and eight digs for the Blue and Gold while senior libero Sophia Lopez Acosta was credited with 16 digs, two assists and a service ace. For the match, Canisius hit .408 as a team and collected nine total blocks, while holding Quinnipiac to a .138 team hitting percentage.
 
Just 24 hours after ending Fairfield's 58-match MAAC win streak, the longest conference winning streak in the nation, the Griffs came out hot, and took the first set by a score of 25-15 thanks to seven kills by Simmons and 13 assists by Ceriani. The Bobcats got within four points midway through the first set before Canisius rattled off seven-straight points to take a 24-13 lead en route to the 25-15 victory. In the second set, Simmons dropped a ball over the net on a serve receive to give the home team a 20-13 lead, which forced Quinnipiac to take a timeout. Out of the stoppage, the Griffs pulled away thanks to a pair of kills and a block assist by junior Gabrielle Darnaby. Darnaby finished the day with five kills on 11 attempts to go with a .364 attack percentage.
 
In the third and final set, Canisius led 20-18 before back-to-back kills from Vazquez and senior Sara Wesleystretched the Griffs' cushion to 22-18. Canisius freshman Melina Woods pushed the third-set score to 24-19 with one of her six kills on the day, and Lopez Acosta wrapped up the win for Canisius with a service ace on match-point, one of two service aces for the Griffs in the contest.
 
For Quinnipiac, Maggie Baker had a team-high 12 kills in the losing effort, while setter Maria Pansari posted 30 assists and three digs for the Bobcats.
 
Head Coach Lenika Vazquez's Postgame Comments
"The advantage (at home) is the fans. The advantage is being able to rest at home, but I think the volleyball is the same no matter where we are. We go in, we compete and that's what it's all about.
 
"I tell the girls 'hey, enjoy it. You worked really hard, enjoy the moment'."
 
Game Notes
• Sunday's meeting was the 15th between Canisius and Quinnipiac in volleyball. The Griffs hold a 12-3 advantage all-time in the series.
• Dating back to last season, Canisius has won seven-straight home matches.
• The Griffs have won their last three home contests by the score of 3-0.
• Including Saturday's sweep of Fairfield, this marks the first time since Oct. 26-27, 2013 where the Blue and Gold have posted back-to-back 3-0 wins in a weekend.
• The Griffs' 6-2 start through the first eight MAAC matches of the season is the program's best since the 2012 team opened league play with a 7-1 record in its first eight MAAC contests.
• Simmons' 17 kills on Sunday gives her double-digit kills in six of the team's first eight MAAC matches of the year.
• Vazquez has recorded 10 kills in two of the team's last three outings.
 
Up Next
Canisius opens a three-match road swing Oct. 13, when the team travels to play at Rider in Lawrenceville, N.J. That match is set to start at 1 p.m. Canisius will also play at Saint Peter's (Oct. 14) before closing out the road stretch at long-time rival Niagara on Wednesday, Oct. 18.