The possibility of an All-Western New York Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference volleyball final exists, although defending champion Niagara and Canisius have some work to do if they want to meet in a match that would guarantee a local entrant in the NCAA Tournament.
Each closed its MAAC regular seasons Sunday with a pair of road losses.
Niagara, the three-time defending conference tournament champions, will be a No. 4 seed when the tourney begins Saturday. They will face top seed and host Fairfield. The Purple Eagles dropped a four-set decision to Iona on Sunday, 19-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-20.
The Gaels built an eight-point lead in the third set and held off a late NU charge to snap their skid of nine straight losses to the Purple Eagles.
Ellen Senf led Niagara (15-13, 12-6) with 18 kills, while Amanda Wilken and Kari Honomichl each had 12. Michelle James led the way with her fourth 50-plus assists match of the season, finishing with 52. Allison Reis had 26 digs.
Canisius will be the No. 3 seed after it ended the regular season with a 26-24, 25-16, 26-16 loss to Fairfield. The Griffs enter the postseason 16-12 overall, 13-5 in the MAAC. The 13 wins in conference are second-most in Griffs history. They face No. 2 Siena in the second semifinal at Alumni Hall at 4 p.m.
Senior Samantha Good led the Griffs with 10 kills Sunday. Junior Sydney Palka (Starpoint) had 12 assists, while senior Allyson Severyn (St. Mary’s) finished with 12 digs.
Selection show today
Fresh off earning their first MAAC soccer championship, the Niagara Purple Eagles will find out who their opponent will be in the NCAA Tournament at 5:30 p.m. today.
Tournament matchups will be announced live during a selection show on NCAA.com. Niagara will hold a viewing gathering in the lower level of the Gallagher Center.
The Purple Eagles (13-1-4) beat Loyola, 1-0, in double overtime Saturday night to earn the NCAA bid.
Niagara brings a five-game unbeaten streak, which includes two overtime wins during the MAAC Tournament, into the NCAAs. The Purple Eagles are ranked first in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) North Atlantic Poll and ranked just one spot outside the national Top 25.