POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Marist Volleyball team is set to compete as the second seed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship Tournament this weekend. The Red Foxes will take on No. 3 seed Iona on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Alumni Recreation Center on the campus of Siena College.
After claiming both MAAC matches last weekend against Saint Peter’s and Rider, Marist is the Co-Champion of the regular season title, sharing the reigns with Fairfield. Fairfield took both regular season matches against the Red Foxes, and enters the tournament as the first seed.
Marist finished the regular season boasting a 14-4 conference record, while posting a 20-8 overall record. The Red Foxes played in 103 sets throughout 28 matches, averaging 16.99 points per set. The team has only allowed their opponents 11.24 kills per set, 10.36 assists and 14.19 points per set.
Marist in the MAAC: The Red Foxes lead the conference with 858 assists, posting 12.81 per set; 910 kills, averaging 13.58 per set; and service aces with 124, tallying 1.85 per set. Following suit, Marist is second in hitting percentage (.223), while taking third in the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.158) and digs (1,099, 16.40 per set).
Leading the way for Marist, freshman Lexi Millington (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) is in first place in the MAAC with 41 service aces, averaging .61 per set.
Following suit, junior Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) is second in the conference in hitting percentage, going 227-57-501 (.339). She is also third in kills (227, 3.39 per set), third in points (262.0, 3.91 per set) and sixth in blocks (64, .96 per set).
Also in the top of the conference, senior Audra Brady (Allentown, Pa.) claims third in assists, recording 730 and averaging 11.06 per set. Junior Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) has accumulated 511 digs to put her in second place in the conference.
Also for the Red Foxes, sophomore Courtney Shaw (Centennial, Co.) is fifth in hitting percentage, going 193-62-450 (.291), seventh in points (220.0, 3.33 per set), and ninth in kills (193, 2.92 per set). Sophomore Kelsey Lahey (Bowling Green, Ohio) is seventh in the MAAC in kills (203, 3.03 per set), while junior Becca Jones (Arlington, Va.) is fifth in service aces with 22, averaging .33 per set.
Scouting Iona: Iona enters the MAAC Championships with a 13-5 MAAC record, 16-13 overall. The Gaels have played 104 sets in 29 matches, averaging 16.00 points per set. The team has allowed their opponents 12.34 kills per set, 11.19 assists per set, 1.12 service aces per set, 16.32 digs per set and 1.61 blocks per set.
The Gaels lead the MAAC in hitting percentage, going 911-338-2,543 (.225), and in digs, posting 1,217 (17.90 per set). Iona falls directly behind the Red Foxes in opponent hitting percentage (fourth) with a .161 percentage; assists (second) with 833 (12.25 per set); and kills (second) with 911 (13.40 per set). The Gaels are also fourth in blocks, claiming 136.0, 2.00 per set, and fifth in service aces with 97 throughout the season and 1.43 per set.
For Iona, junior Catrina Warren is placed second in the conference in kills, tallying 228, 3.80 per set, while senior Alicja Pawelec is in fifth with 211 kills. Warren is also second in the conference in points (256.5) while Pawelec is also third in the MAAC in service aces with 26 in 67 sets. Sophomore Natalie Ziskin takes second for assists, posting 759 this season.
Marist vs. Iona: On September 22, the Red Foxes defeated Iona at McCann Arena 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 26-24). The win was the 100th career victory for head coach Tom Hanna. Marist posted a .221 attack percentage against the Gaels’ .104 average. The Red Foxes claimed five blocks for the outing as they posted 40 kills.
Shaw had nine kills, hitting .304 for the match, to go along with three blocks. Lahey and Stephens each had seven kills and junior 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. Zywick led Marist with 14 digs while Jones and junior Gena Russo (Rensselaer, N.Y.) had nine and eight, respectively.
The Red Foxes ended up splitting the series with Iona as the Gaels won 3-1 (19-25, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25) on October 26. Marist tallied nine service aces for the match. This was the last loss Marist allowed for the remainder of the season.
Shaw led Marist in kills with 11, followed closely by Lahey, who had 10. Shaw also had one assist and five block assists, and Lahey had one block assist. Brady contributed 37 assists for the Red Foxes, as well as three block assists and four kills. Gilbert totaled seven kills, one assist, and six block assists, and Jones had eight kills, one assist and one block assist. Stephens had eight kills and four block assists, and both Zywick and Millington each had two assists.
What’s Next: The 2013 Volleyball awards show will be held on Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. and can be viewed live on MAAC.TV for free. The championship game will take place Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. All three games of the tournament will be featured on MAAC.TV. Tickets are available for the 2013 MAAC Volleyball Championship at TicketLeap.
Marist is offering free transportation and tickets to students only. If interested, students must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 12 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22. The bus will leave at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. on Sunday morning from the McCann Center.