Volleyball Makes Short Trip For MAAC Showdown With Undefeated Siena
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Fresh off of a weekend sweep at Canisius and Niagara, the Marist volleyball team continues its six-match road trip with a Thursday night matchup at top-ranked Siena. The Saints come into the match with a perfect 5-0 record in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play and are 6-9 overall.
Last Time Out…
The Red Foxes (9-5, 3-1 MAAC) extended their winning streak to three matches, all 3-0 sweeps with a pair of wins on the annual Buffalo trip at Canisius (25-22, 25-18, 25-23) and Niagara (25-18, 25-13, 25-15).
Against Canisius, Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Colo.) hit a match-high 14 kills, while not committing a single attacking error for .667 hitting percentage while also adding four blocks. Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) was also in double figures with 11 kills, hitting at a .360 clip for the match, while making a match-high six blocks. Grace Hill (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and Kelsey Lahey (Bowling Green, Ohio) each added six kills. Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) had 37 assists while Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) led all players with 17 digs and Gena Russo (Rensselaer, N.Y.) also had 10 digs. As a team, Marist hit an impressive .311 and had six service aces, led by three from freshman Lexi Millington (Manhattan Beach, Calif.).
The numbers were even more impressive versus Niagara on Sunday as Stephens led all players with 15 kills, registering five in each set, while not committing any attacking errors for a .714 hitting percentage. Lahey was also in double figures with 10 kills while Shaw finished with nine. Brady had 40 assists while also adding six digs. Becca Jones (Arlington, Va.) led the Red Foxes with 11 digs while also adding a team-high three service aces. Millington finished with nine digs and Zywick added eight.
Marist in the MAAC…
The Red Foxes are amongst the leaders in the MAAC in several team statistical categories, including leading the conference in kills per set (13.46) and assists per set (12.78). Marist is also second in team hitting percentage (.236) and opponent hitting percentage (.166).
Individually, several Red Foxes are also atop multiple statistical categories. Stephens, who saw her hitting percentage jump 28 points after last weekend’s performances, sits second in the MAAC with a .334 hitting percentage. Shaw (.291) and Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) (.224) are both also in the top ten, sitting fourth and tenth, respectively.
Stephens and Grace Hill (Kalamazoo, Mich.) rank second and third in the conference with averages of 3.44 and 2.82 kills per set, respectively.
Millington leads the MAAC with a .56 aces per set average, which also puts her ninth nationally. Brady is tops in the conference in assists with 11.22 per set, ranking 23rd overall in the country. Zywick leads the conference with 4.96 digs per set, which is also good for 32nd in all of Division I.
After a 1-9 record following non-conference play, the Saints have won their first five matches in the MAAC, taking sole possession of first place. They are led offensively by Taylor Akana, who has 146 kills for a 2.81 kills per set average. Meghann Wright (121 kills) and Rachel Stoklosa (106) are also top offensive threats for the Saints. Haley Howell is Siena’s primary setter, recording 446 assists on the season, and has been named MAAC Rookie of the Week three times already. Jacqueline Skeen leads the team in blocking with 52 on the season while Bobbi Lin Kalama leads Siena’s defense with 158 digs and Akana also has 126.