POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Marist volleyball team continues Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play this weekend as they travel to Buffalo to play Canisius and Niagara.  On Saturday, the Red Foxes match up with the Golden Griffins and on Sunday they will take on the Purple Eagles. Both matches are scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Last Time Out…

Last weekend the Marist volleyball team opened up MAAC play with two home matches as the Red Foxes hosted Manhattan and Iona at McCann Arena.  On Saturday, Marist suffered a tough 3-2 (23-25, 24-26, 26-24, 25-20, 17-15) decision to Manhattan before bouncing back on Sunday, cruising to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 26-24) victory over Iona.

Against Manhattan, Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) and Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Colo.) both set career-highs in kills. Stephens finished with a match-high 27 kills and also had eight blocks, including three solo. Shaw also had 18 kills, besting her previous career high of 16, to go along with four blocks. Kelsey Lahey (Bowling Green, Ohio) was also in double figures win kills with 10. Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) set a career-high with 62 assists and completed the double-double by tying her personal best with 17 digs. Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) led all players with 27 digs and Gena Russo (Rensselaer, N.Y.) and Lexi Millington (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) were also in double figures with 16 and 10, respectively. With her 18th dig of the day, Zywick became just the fourth player in Marist history to achieve 1,000 digs in her career. The match featured 39 total ties and 14 lead changes.

In Sunday’s match against Iona, Grace Hill (Kalamazoo, Mich.) had a team-high 11 kills to lead Marist to a win over Iona. The victory was the 100th career victory for head coach Tom Hanna. Shaw had nine kills, hitting .304 for the match, to go along with three blocks. Lahey and Stephens each had seven kills and Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) had five kills to go along with a match-high four blocks. Brady had her third straight double-double, and fourth in five matches, with 32 assists and 11 digs. Brooke Zywick led Marist with 14 digs while Becca Jones (Arlington, Va.) and Russo had nine and eight, respectively. Zywick surpassed Joanna Foss (2012) for the third most digs in Marist history and currently has 1,025 in her career.

Marist in the MAAC…

Marist ranks near the top in the MAAC in most team statistics. The Red Foxes are second in hitting percentage (.225), opponent hitting percentage (.167), assists per set (12.55), and kills per set (13.20).

Individually, several Red Foxes are also atop multiple statistical categories. Three players are in the top 10 in hitting percentage led by Mackenzie Stephens who is third in the conference at .306. Shaw is fifth at .249 and Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) is seventh at .230. Additionally, Stephens and Grace Hill are second and third in Kills with an average of 3.31 and 2.95 respectively. 

Lexi Millington leads the MAAC with a .55 aces per set average, which also puts her twelfth nationally. Zywick is tops in the conference with 5.07 digs per set, ranking 25th overall in the country. Audra Brady leads the conference in assists with 10.98 per set, which is also good for 32nd in all of Division I.

Scouting Canisius…

The Golden Griffins of Canisius enter Saturday’s matchup with an overall record of 4-9, but an undefeated record of 2-0 within MAAC play. The Griffs are on a two-match win streak after convincing victories over conference foes, Saint Peter’s and Rider. Jacklyn Malusa and Emily Elek lead the Golden Griffins offensively with 110 and 107 kills respectively. Sydney Palka leads Canisius in assists, averaging 5.02 per set.  Grace Streicher is another primary setter for the Griffs with 4.31 assists per set.  Roxanne Hernandez leads the Canisius squad with 1.06 blocks per set, as well as 50 total which is enough to lead the conference.

Last season the Golden Griffins finished the season with an overall record of 16-13, notching a record of 13-5 within the MAAC.  The Canisius team beat Marist in both of their matchups last season by a score of 3-1 in both meetings.

Scouting Niagara…

The Purple Eagles of Niagara University enter Sunday’s matchup with an overall record of 1-12, and 0-2 within MAAC play.   The Purple Eagles won their first match of the season last week in a 3-1 victory over Delaware State University.  Amanda Sedore leads the team offensively with 116 kills.  Emily Hopkins has the most assists for the Purple Eagles with 293 on the season and Allison Reis leads the team in digs, averaging 3.64 per set.  Lastly, Melissa McGwin has the most blocks for the team with 46, a total enough to land her 4th in the conference.

Last Season the Purple Eagles finished the season with an overall record of 15-14, and a record of 12-6 against conference opponents.  Niagara beat Marist in both their meetings by a score of 3-0.

Become a fan of Marist Athletics on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.