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Canisius volleyball hosts Manhattan and first-place Iona


Melina Woods
Manhattan (4-20, 2-9 MAAC) at Canisius (12-10, 10-3 MAAC)
 Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018
Time: 1 p.m.
Live Video: ESPN+
Live Stats: SIDEARM Stats
Iona (13-6, 11-1 MAAC) at Canisius
 Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018
Time: 1 p.m.
Live Video: ESPN+
Live Stats: SIDEARM Stats

Location: Koessler Athletic Center – Buffalo, N.Y.
Twitter: @GriffVolleyball l #Griffs |#MAACVB
*Records as of Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018
Reaching double-digit conference wins for the first time since 2012 last Sunday, the second-place Canisius volleyball team prepares to host a pair of MAAC contests at the Koessler Athletic Center against Manhattan and first-place Iona.
Scouting Canisius
• The Golden Griffins are over .500 this late in the season for the first time since the 2012 team was 12-10 through 22 matches.
• The win over Marist marked the first win for the Blue and Gold over the Red Foxes since a 3-1 victory Oct. 2, 2012 at the Koessler.
• Junior Leah Simmons has been leading the Blue and Gold offensively with 251 kills (.267 hitting), registering 35 kills during the current winning streak.
• Freshman Camila Vazquez is one kill shy of reaching 200 on the season. The middle hitter also leads the team with 69 total blocks.
• Vazquez's 18 kills on Sunday versus Marist set a career-high, finishing off a week that saw her set the program record for hitting percentage in a match with a .714 clip at Niagara.
• Behind Vazquez is senior Sara Wesley with 191 kills and 55 total blocks.
• Vazquez is not the only impact freshman, as Melina Woods has registered 184 kills, 89 digs and 23 service aces.
• Junior Cassidy Ceriani has been the most versatile Griff, notching 750 assists with 92 kills and 202 digs. The setter has eight double-doubles on the season and has recorded 30-or-more assists in twelve-straight matches.
• Senior Sofia Lopez Acosta has tallied 424 digs, with eleven contests of 20-or-more digs this season. The libero also leads the Griffs with 27 service aces this campaign and is one dig shy of recording 850 for her career.
• The Griffs are now 6-4 in three-set matches this year and hold a 5-5 record in four-set matches. The five-set win over Marist was the Griffs' first five-set match since the season-opening loss to Montana State.
Griffs Among Conference Leaders
• Canisius finds itself leading the MAAC in team hitting percentage (.244) and opponent blocks per set (1.44).
• The Blue and Gold are second in the conference in kills per set (13.35) and assists per set (12.11).
• Lopez Acosta paces the MAAC with 5.30 digs per set, also sitting eighth with 0.34 service aces per set.
• Vazquez's .355 hitting percentage ranks first among all qualified players and her 0.86 blocks per set is tied for sixth in the conference.
• Wesley's .293 hitting clip puts the senior fifth among league leaders.
• Ceriani is fourth in the MAAC with 9.38 assists per set.
• Simmons ranks fourth with 3.14 kills per set.
Lopez, Vazquez Honored Again by MAAC
• Lopez Acosta was announced as the MAAC Libero of the Week on Tuesday, while Vazquez earned Rookie of the Week honor from the conference.
• Lopez Acosta finished with 44 digs, six assists, five aces and two kills.
• The five aces came during the second set versus Siena and are the most for a Griff in three sets since Sarah Podlesh set the school record in 2005.
• Vazquez recorded 37 kills and eight total blocks in the three matches.
• This is the third time this season Lopez Acosta has earned weekly honors and is the second occasion for Vazquez.
Canisius Off to Historic Start
• The Blue and Gold's 6-0 start at home is the best-ever in program history. Dating back to last season, Canisius has won nine-straight in the Koessler Athletic Center.
• Canisius' 10-3 start through the first 13 MAAC matches of the season is the program's best since an 10-3 start in 2013.
• 2012 also marks the last time the Griffs were better than .500 through the first 22 matches in a season, ending the season with a 16-13 record.
Scouting the Jaspers
• Manhattan is coming off a two-match week that saw the Jaspers pull out a 3-2 victory at NJIT Oct. 17, before dropping an Oct. 20 match at Iona, 3-0.
• The offense has been led by 167 kills from Vivian Donovan while Erin Hoener paces Manhattan with a .210 hitting clip.
• Manhattan's main setter is Shruti Mangipudi with 391 assists.
• On the defensive side, Alyssa Rehrer leads the Jaspers with 354 digs, and Hoener's 64 total blocks pace the team.
Canisius-Manhattan Series Notes
• Saturday's match will serve as the 46th matchup between the two long-time MAAC foes in a series that began in 1989.
• The Griffs hold a 28-17 edge in the all-time series, with Canisius owning a 4-1 record in the past five matches.
• Earlier this season, Simmons' buried 20 kills en route to a Canisius victory at Manhattan Sept. 30, in a match that saw a marathon opening set go in the Jaspers' favor before the Griffs won the next three sets.
Scouting the Gaels
• In its last three contests, Iona claimed sweeps at home over Saint Peter's Oct. 17 and Manhattan Oct. 20, before losing in straight sets to Stony Brook in non-conference action Oct. 21.
• The Gaels have been powered by MAAC Preseason Co-Player of the Year Claire Archibald's 281 kills, and her 3.96 kills per set ranks first in the conference. The senior is the only MAAC player averaging over four points per set at 4.31.
• Karla Johnson sits third in the MAAC with a .302 hitting percentage, while Cassandra Patsos is seventh at a .284 clip.
• Emma Rose paces the conference at a 11.76 assists per set.
• Defensively, Jessica Paolucci's 5.00 digs per set are second in the MAAC.
• Mia Bonsignore is tied for sixth in the MAAC with 0.86 blocks per set.
• Rose and Taylor Cole are in a three-way tie for fifth in the MAAC at 0.35 service aces per set.
• As a team, Iona leads the conference in seven categories: 13.61 assists per set, 14.31 kills per set, 16.52 digs per set, .159 opponent hitting percentage, 9.97 opponent assists per set, 10.44 opponent kills per set and 1.15 opponent service aces.
Canisius-Iona Series Notes
• Sunday's contest will mark the 44th meeting between the two MAAC schools in a series that dates back to 1991.
• The Gaels hold a 25-18 lead in the all-time series, with the Griffs having the 6-4 advantage in the previous 10 meetings.
• Earlier this season, Iona defeated Canisius, 3-1, in a Sept. 29 match that saw Archibald register a double-double with a season-high 23 kills to go with 10 digs.
Up Next
Canisius finishes its homestand with Senior Day against Battle of the Bridge rival Niagara Nov. 3. The final home match of the season for the Griffs will start at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

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