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Canisius volleyball sweeps Quinnipiac to clinch bye into MAAC semifinals

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Post Match Huddle versus Rider
Game Recap
The Canisius volleyball team was able to secure the second seed in the upcoming 2018 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship as the Golden Griffins took care of business with a sweep over Quinnipiac Saturday in Hamden, Conn.
 
Canisius won the match by scores of 25-21, 25-23, 25-18 to improve to 15-11 overall and 13-4 in MAAC play. The Bobcats fell to 7-20 overall and 6-11 in conference action with the loss.
 
Canisius senior Sara Wesley led the match with 12 kills, while junior Leah Simmons was close behind with 10 kills in addition to five digs, two service aces, two solo blocks and a block assist. Junior Gabrielle Darnaby and freshman Camila Vazquez both tallied nine kills, as the Blue and Gold posted a .462 team hitting percentage. Junior Cassidy Ceriani just missed a double-double, as the setter finished with 38 assists and nine digs, adding on three kills and a block assist. Senior Sofia Lopez Acostahad a team-high 11 digs, as the libero also racked up a career-high four kills. Freshman Melina Woods also tacked on five kills and a service ace.
 
For Quinnipiac, Kat Miller continued to be a force with 10 kills, while teammate Morgan Sherwin matched Miller with 10 kills herself. Setter Maria Pansari put up 35 assists, while Alejandra Rodriguez was good for 14 digs, as the Bobcats hit .234 for the match as a team.
 
In the opening set, Canisius got on the board first with a Darnaby kill. Seven lead changes later, the Blue and Gold broke a 16-16 tie and never looked back on their way to the 25-21 victory.
 
The second set started the same way as the first, as a kill from Darnaby put the Griffs on the board first. A late 4-0 run by Quinnipiac tied the frame at 23-23, but a kill from Wesley and a Simmons service ace gave Canisius a narrow 25-23 win. In the final set, Quinnipiac kept pace with the Griffs for most of the frame, but a finishing 8-4 stretch by Canisius sealed the 25-18 victory and the match.
 
Head coach Lenika Vazquez's Postgame Comments
"It feels good to clinch the second seed for the conference tournament. The team worked hard today! Quinnipiac went on a couple of runs and we held steady."
 
Game Notes
• Saturday's match was the 16th all-time meeting between these two MAAC schools, with Canisius leading the series by a 13-3 margin.
• Canisius' win on Saturday clinched the Griffs second place in the MAAC regular-season standings. This is the first time Canisius has finished second-or-better outright in 29 years as a member of the MAAC. The 1991 team finished in a tie for second with Loyola Maryland in 1991, posting a 6-2 conference record.
• This is the Griffs' first regular season sweep of Quinnipiac since the 2015 season.
• The last time Canisius defeated Quinnipiac 3-0 in both regular season meetings was 2014.
• The win gives Canisius 13 league victories this year, matching the 2012 team for second-most in program history. The 2006 Canisius team won a school-record 14 MAAC contests.
• Simmons' 10 kills gives her double-digit kills in 14 contests this season.
• Lopez Acosta has now recorded 10-plus digs in all but one of the Griffs' 26 matches this season. Her 488 digs this season ranks 9th on the school's single-season digs list.
• Since the start of MAAC play, Ceriani has recorded 30-or-more assists in 15 of the Griffs' 17 league matches.
• Wesley's .253 career hitting percentage sits seventh in program history (minimum 500 kills), seven points shy ofAmy Allen's .260 clip.
 
Up Next
Canisius will close out the 2018 regular season tomorrow when the team travels to three-time defending MAAC champion Fairfield. The contest is set for 1 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN+.