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Canisius volleyball remains perfect at home with win over Marist


Cassidy Ceriani
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Three Canisius players had double-digit kills, led by freshman Camila Vazquez and her career-high 18, while junior setter Cassidy Ceriani posted a career-best 49 assists as the Golden Griffins scored a 3-2 win over Marist in MAAC volleyball action Sunday afternoon in the Koessler Athletic Center. Canisius won the match by scores of 25-15, 25-17, 21-25, 25-27, 15-9.
With the win, the Griffs' eighth in their last 10 outings, Canisius improved to 12-10 overall and 10-3 in MAAC play, while Marist slipped to 11-11 overall and 8-4 in conference action.
The five-set victory on Sunday is Canisius' first of the season, and it gives the Blue and Gold double-digit conference wins for the first time since 2012.
Canisius took the first set 25-15 after Marist hit just .054 as a team and was charged with five service errors. The Griffs went into the match intermission with a 2-0 lead after taking set two by a 25-17 count. In that session, Vazquez was good for seven kills, while Ceriani recorded 14 assists. As a team in the second set, the Griffs hit .387, with senior Sara Wesley and freshman Melina Woods adding three kills apiece to the effort.
The third set saw Marist score a 25-21 victory despite a late comeback attempt by Canisius. The Griffs trailed 20-12 in the third set, but five-straight points by the Blue and Gold, including a pair of kills by Wesley, trimmed the Red Foxes' margin to 20-17, forcing the visiting squad to take a timeout. Canisius got within two points at 23-21 late in the set after Ceriani was credited with a kill, but a Marist side-out and an attack error by the Griffs gave the Red Foxes the set to continue the match.
In the fourth set, Vazquez had seven more kills and Ceriani was credited with nine more assists, but the Blue and Gold hit just .150 as a team, and Marist posted the 27-25 victory. Again, Canisius trailed Marist late at 24-23 before a service ace by senior Donnett Hickson tied the frame at 24-24. Another Vazquez kill knotted the set at 25-25 before a Marist kill and an attack error by Canisius sent the match into the fifth and deciding session.
In the fifth set, Canisius jumped out to an early 9-3 lead thanks to back-to-back kills by junior Leah Simmons. The Griffs secured the victory when Wesley recorded her 15th kill of the contest off an assist from Ceriani. Canisius hit .318 as a team in the final set, against Marist's .105 team attack percentage.
Vazquez added six block assists to her stat line in the win for Canisius, while Ceriani was good for 11 digs, two block assists and two service aces. Simmons had 14 kills and five digs for the Blue and Gold, while senior libero Sophia Lopez Acosta was credited with 20 digs, the 11th time this season she's collected 20-plus digs in a contest. Freshman Ashley Kekeisen had a kill, two service aces, five assists and 14 digs for the Blue and Gold while juniorCarly Shifflet added a career-high 14 digs as well.
For Marist, Nikki DeSerpa posted a double-double with 16 kills and 15 digs to go with three service aces, while teammate Megan Fergus was credited with 12 kills and three block assists. Setter Taylor VanDerBiezen had a match-high 53 assists in the losing effort for Marist to go with three kills.
Head Coach Lenika Vazquez's Postgame Comments
"It's great to have depth. It definitely puts us at an advantage when we do need a sub and just to have a different look sometimes. Sometimes, subs aren't made because somebody errored, it's to give our opponent a different look. So, it's refreshing to have that depth."
Game Notes
• Sunday was the 38th all-time meeting in volleyball between these two schools. Canisius leads the series 20-18.
• The win on Sunday ended Canisius' 11-match losing streak to Marist, which dated back to Oct. 21, 2012.
• Sunday's five-set victory for Canisius is the team's first in MAAC play since the Blue and Gold beat Iona 3-2 at home on Oct. 29, 2017.
• Vazquez now has double-digit kills in five of the team's last seven matches.
• Ceriani's 49 assists on Sunday gives her 40-plus assists in a match seven times. She ranks fifth all-time in program history with her 2,439 assists.
• Lopez Acosta's next dig will be the 850th in her career as a Griff.
Up Next
Canisius will continue its five-match homestand on Saturday, Oct. 27, when the team plays host to Manhattan. Game time in the Koessler Athletic Center is set for 1 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

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