Griffs Split Matches on the Road, Prepare for Marist and Siena

By: Adam Duke

Sports Reporter

After falling to Manhattan 3-0 on September 26, the Canisius women’s volleyball team battled back to finish the weekend with a 3-2 win against Iona on Sunday to even out the record from the trip at 1-1. Kaitlyn Tyler led the team with 32 kills and Grace Streicher led with 83 assists. In addition, Lauren Siebert and Rachel Kline had 23 kills apiece.

“We had some perseverance to get a much needed road win,” said Coach Cathy Hummel, recapping the weekend’s events. She also stated that though the team has been struggling to get points at critical times, they never give up. “One of the things they’ve done all year is put the losses behind us,” she said, “We still have strong belief and strong work ethic.” She continued, mentioning that the team is readying for the road ahead. “We have so much further to go in terms of where we want to be. We just look forward to the next match.”

With the players, a recurring theme regarding improvement is having a better mentality. As setter Grace Streicher said, “We definitely need a better court demeanor, a more winning attitude. We need to show a little more fight to win.” Outside hitter Katlyn Tyler agreed, saying, “We seemed very dead and only celebrated points that we won, when we did some good things on other plays, but only focused on the ones where we got the point.”

They both attested to the fact that in order to improve play, they must focus, keep the energy high, and, as Tyler put it, “Play for ourselves and not worry about outside distractions.” They also discussed how they bounced back from the loss to Manhattan to defeat Iona. “We had not forgotten about the loss on Saturday, but went into Sunday’s game and didn’t let it affect how we played. We went into Sunday’s game with a whole different mentality,” said Tyler. Streicher added, “We really had to focus. I really think that we had the mentality of ‘we’re not losing this game no matter what.’ We really just stuck to the winning mindset and came out with the W on Sunday.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s matchups against Marist and Siena, Coach Hummel expressed that “The challenge will be taking care of our side of the court and doing what we do well, but not to confuse the fact that we’ve got to stop two very good teams on the other side of the net.”  She then went on to say, “That’s going to be our challenge for the rest of the year- doing what we can do on our side and minimizing what the other teams can do against us.”

Hummel also alluded to the team’s health, once again stating, “We’re still recovering. We’re not 100 percent yet.”

Regarding the play of Marist and Siena, Streicher mentioned that “Fundamentally, in every position, they are a lot more consistent than a lot of the other teams, so position for position, they have it all together.” She continued, saying, “We have to match that and be on top of our game at every position, focus on fundamentals, and again, just have a good mentality and be focused on fighting for every point.” Tyler then added, “To me, they’re the two teams in our conference that go into a game to get the job done and that’s that. They don’t focus on anything else.” Her response to their style of play included sentiments such as, “We have to play well to beat these two teams, we can’t just expect it. We have to really work like they do,” as well as, “They celebrate every point and they’re high energy. Just get it done. We all have to have the same mentality.”

Marist and Siena are both coming off 1-1 outings as well, each dropping a loss to Rider and picking up a win against St. Peter’s. This weekend is essential not only for positioning in the conference, but to keep the swing of momentum in the Griffs’ favor as well.  The Griffs are currently tied for second in the MAAC standings with Siena and have the opportunity to break that tie as well as stay ahead of fifth place Marist, with a pair of wins this weekend.

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