Volleyball extends win streak at home


Camila Vazquez had a career-high 18 kills in the Griffs’ five-set victory over Marist. (Photo courtesy of Canisius Athletics)

By Matthew Duke

Communications Director

The Griffs unbeaten streak at home continued this past weekend.

They started off by taking the first match against Siena, winning 3-0, taking the season series against Siena. Melina Woods led the team with 10 kills, and Camila Vazquez tallied nine of her own. Cassidy Ceriani added to a great season with 33 assists in the win. The team handled the Saints with ease, taking the first set 25-6, followed by set scores of 25-10 and 25-15.

“I think for morale, [being undefeated at home] is awesome. It’s always nice to win at home. In front of your family and friends,” said head coach Lenika Vazquez. “You know, not all their friends and boyfriends get to travel, so it’s nice to have that energy. Long-term it helps to create that winning tradition and culture here.”

On Sunday, the Griffs hosted Marist, where the Blue and Gold would take the win in a five set nail-biter.

The Griffs took the first two sets with scores of 25-15 and 25-17 before losing the next two sets, 25-21 and 27-25, respectively. However, the Griffs would win the lucrative fifth set by a score of 15-9. The Griffs remain undefeated at home with a record of 6-0. This puts them at 10-3 in MAAC play on the year.

“[To win the fifth game], you have to be resilient. This is the kind of sport where ups and downs are inevitable,” Vazquez mentioned. “You play to 25 and a team can go on a four- or five-point run, but it’s not over until someone gets to 25. So definitely just staying resilient, staying positive, and having faith in yourself and your teammates that you can get the job done in that fifth set.”

The team remained resilient and came out on top. Camila Vazquez finished the match with a new career-high 18 kills and six blocks. The freshman from Miami earned Rookie of the Year honors this past week after posting a program record .714 hitting percentage in the Griffs’ straight sets win over Niagara on Oct. 18.

Sara Wesley added 15 kills and Cassidy Ceriani ended the match with 49 assists. This moved her up to fifth in program history for assists.

“I feel like, yeah you’ve seen us, but who cares. Let’s play some volleyball,” Lenika Vazquez said about moving into round two of the season. “Us being able to see them, yeah it’s great, you can get a flow for their team: their offense and their defense. The big thing going into second round is to not underestimate the progress of a team. A team can grow, they can change, they can adjust.

“So it’s important that, as we go through the second round, we understand the team we faced in the first round is not going to be the same team we face in the second round. So, I think keeping this in the forefront and in the front of our minds is gonna keep us competitive.”

The Griffs will look to topple the Conference leading Iona Gaels this Sunday, as the Gaels have only lost one game in MAAC play all season.

Canisius played them well in their last meeting as they lost 3-1 in four tightly contested sets that saw both teams score 20 points or more.

Wesley, Leah Simmons, and Melina Woods all posted double digit kills the last time these two teams faced off.

All three hitters have led the team in kills in the last few games, and will look to continue this hot streak this weekend.

The Griffs look to remain competitive as they move further into the second round. This weekend, they take on the Manhattan Jaspers on Saturday and the Iona Gaels, who are currently leading the MAAC with an 11-1 record, on Sunday. Both games are at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.


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