BUFFALO, N.Y. - Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) tied her career-high of 20 kills, but it was not enough as the Marist volleyball team fell to Canisius 3-1 (25-22, 27-29, 25-21, 25-18) Sunday afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) match.
Stephens also had eight blocks, including two of the solo variety, to increase her MAAC lead in that category. Katie Estes (Saugus, Calif.) was also in double-digits with 10 kills and completed the double-double with 13 digs. Becca Jones (Arlington, Va.) and Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Co.) each had eight kills. Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) had a team-high 24 digs while Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) had 46 assists and nine digs.
The Red Foxes (7-15, 3-9 MAAC) took a quick 5-4 lead in the first set on a kill by Estes as well as back-to-back blocks, one by Estes and Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Pa.), and the second featuring the rare triple assist as Jones, Gilbert and Shaw all contributed to the block. With the score tied at 7-7, Marist used a 4-1 run to take an 11-8 lead. The streak was fueled by a Gena Russo (Rensselaer, N.Y.) service ace, kills by Brady and Estes as well as a solo block by Stephens. Canisius (12-10, 9-3 MAAC) however, eventually took the lead back, using a 6-2 run to jump ahead 18-16. They were able to hold onto that lead and take the opening set, 25-22.
Marist jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the second set, led by two kills from Stephens, one each from Gilbert and Brady as well as another block, this time by Stephens and Shaw. The Golden Griffins stormed right back, scoring five out of six points to knot things up at eight. After a kill by Estes and Brady ace put the Red Foxes up 10-8, another 5-1 run put Canisius up 13-11. Two points later, Stephens wrapped two kills around a block with Brady to give the lead back to Marist at 15-14. The two teams would go back and forth for the rest of the set. The Red Foxes ran off four straight points to take a 23-22 lead. Jones had two kills while Stephens and Shaw teamed up for another block. On three separate occasions Marist battled off of set point, all on kills by Stephens. With the score tied at 27, Estes and Shaw hit back-to-back kills to give the set to Marist and tie the match at one set apiece.
The Golden Griffins came out with a vengeance in the third set, opening up a quick 5-1 lead and forcing a Marist timeout. The Red Foxes fought back to within two at 8-6 on three more kills by Stephens and a Gilbert/Shaw block. With Canisius leading 16-11, Marist rattled off a 9-2 run to take a 20-18 lead. Estes had three kills to lead the streak while Shaw had two and Stephens and Gilbert each had one. Canisius however, scored seven of the final eight points of the set to win it 25-21 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Again, Canisius opened up a big lead in the fourth set, taking a 10-3 early advantage. After three straight Marist points, on two kills by Jones and another block from Shaw and Gilbert, the Golden Griffins increased the advantage to 19-8 with a 9-2 run. The Red Foxes tried to fight back, scoring four consecutive points, on a kill by Stephens sandwiched between her solo block and a block by both Stephens and Estes, closing the score to 19-12. They then scored five out of six points to close the gap to 24-18, but the comeback fell short as Cansius closed out the match with a 25-18 win in set four.
The Red Foxes return to McCann Arena for a 7 p.m. match on Wednesday night against Iona. They will then host Saint Peter's and Manhattan in 2 p.m. contests next weekend.