By Matt Duke
The Griffs traveled to New Jersey over the weekend to face Rider and St. Peter’s, before returning home to face nearby rival Niagara.
The Griffs split the weekend matchups, dropping their first match to Rider in four sets. The Broncos took the first set in a close, hard fought match with a score of 25-27. Canisius would battle back in the next set, again needing extra points to determine the victor, 28-26. Tides would shift in favor of Rider after this, as they closed out the Griffs, winning the next two sets 15-25 and 19-25. Leah Simmons had another day leading the Griffs in kills with 11 in the match, which added to her three kills on the defensive side of the ball. Camila Vazquez performed well in the losing effort, as well, with 10 kills and five blocks.
Sophomore setter Ashley Kekeisen had a standout performance in the team’s victory against St. Peter’s on Saturday. St. Peter’s took the first set 23-25, but the Griffs followed that up with three straight wins to take the match. They took the three sets 25-19, 25-23, and 25-19 respectively. Kekeisen had 27 assists in the match along with her six digs. Hannah Nelson posted another double-double in the match by way of 18 kills and 19 digs. Leah Simmons contributed to the victory as well with 10 kills.
After a very long, crucial set three in their match on Thursday, the Griffs lost to the Niagara Purple Eagles in a four-set rivalry match at the Koessler Athletic Center. Canisius took the first set 26-24. The next set, Niagara won by a score of 14-25. The third, very pivotal set saw the Griffs have a 24-18 lead. After eight set points for the Blue and Gold, Niagara edged them out, winning the set 28-30. The Purple Eagles finished the Griffs off in the very next set 13-25. Leah Simmons and Camila Vazquez both led the team with 12 kills apiece. Hannah Nelson recorded seven kills, three aces, and 17 digs.
The Griffs continue their homestand this weekend. Their first game will be against The Siena Saints on Saturday at the Koessler Athletic Center and will face the Marist Red Foxes, with both matches beginning at 1 p.m. They continue their homestand into next weekend, which rounds out their regular season.