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It’s getting pretty serious at the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings. Five teams are fighting for four spots in the conference’s volleyball championships and the race got bit closer on Saturday afternoon.
Canisius, which had been in sole possession of first place, dropped its match to Siena in the Koessler Center in three games. That gave the Saints (9-3) the best winning percentage in the MAAC with three other teams — Canisius, Niagara and Fairfield — at 8-3. On their heels is Manhattan, which improved to 8-4 with a five-game win over Iona.
Yes, it’s getting tighter with each match.
And for the Golden Griffins, Saturday’s 19-25, 19-25, 18-25 loss was tough to watch. The Griffs couldn’t put anything together, struggling in all aspects of the game.
It was the second straight loss for Canisius after dropping a four-game match at Niagara on Wednesday.
“That’s our worst outing of the season,” Canisius coach Cathy Hummel said. “I was worried about our rebound from the Niagara game. Last time we lost to Niagara, we rebounded fine. [Saturday] we just played horrible. We’re typically a much better blocking team and we were guessing. We weren’t disciplined. It just wasn’t pretty in any category. It was a rough day at the office. We can overcome one or two players struggling. We can’t overcome four. We’re not that good. Nobody’s good enough to overcome four struggling players on the floor.”
Canisius will look to regroup today, hosting Marist at 2 p.m.
Meanwhile it was a key win for the Saints who will try for the Western New York sweep at 2 p.m. today against Niagara. The Purple Eagles kept pace in the race with a three-game sweep of Marist, 25-6, 25-20, 25-16, in the Gallagher Center.
It was one of the most efficient matches of the season for Niagara, which hit .355 as a team. Ellen Senf led the Purple Eagles with 12 kills and .611 hitting percentage.

Buffalo State undefeated

For the first time, the Buffalo State volleyball team finished undefeated in the regular season in the State University of New York Athletic Conference. The Bengals swept Oswego and Brockport in pool play to finish 6-0 and improve to 22-8 overall.
In a three-game win over Oswego, Sam Parente had 11 kills while Kelsey Bashor had 27 assists. In the win over Brockport, Kayla Pyc (Grand Island) had eight kills.
Buffalo State, which closes out the regular season with a non-conference match Tuesday, earned a bye into the SUNYAC semifinals, hosting the tournament beginning Nov. 2. The Bengals play their semi match at 3 p.m. on Nov. 3.

ECC’s Bean, Russi honored

Erie Community College sophomores Rylie Bean (Frontier) and Katie Russi (Frontier), were named to the All-Western New York Athletic Conference Team. Bean, a first-team selection, holds the ECC record for kills in a season with 418. Russi, a second-team selection, had 33 digs on Saturday as the Kats won their first-round match against Jamestown CC before losing to eighth-ranked Monroe at the WNYAC tournament. The Kats (20-9) will play in the Region III Tournament at Niagara CCC next Saturday.