Niagara’s bid for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women’s volleyball championship ended with a four-set (25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21) loss to the No. 1 seed Fairfield in the semifinals of the conference tournament Saturday in Fairfield, Conn. Niagara (15-14) was attempting to accomplish what Siena did in 2005-08 and win four consecutive titles, while Fairfield is 21-8 and 10-0 on its home court.
The Purple Eagles won the second set when MAAC Player of the Year Kari Honomichl closed it out. Honomichl’s kill gave NU a 24-21 lead and she finished the set with a kill two points later, 25-22. NU had a match-high 17 kills and match-low two errors in the set. Niagara had a 16-10 lead in the fourth set but that was erased by a 7-0 run by the Stags.
Seniors Michelle James, Amanda Wilken and Honomichl will leave as the winningest class in Niagara history with 94 matches won, three conference championships and had three appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Honomichl finished with 19 kills, 18 digs for her 18th double-double of the season. She concludes her career with 1,481 kills (third most in program history) and as the all-time leader in aces (154).
In the other semifinal, No. 2 seed Siena defeated Canisius in four sets, 25-22, 25-13, 23-25 and 25-20. Canisius ended the season with a 16-13 record. Samantha Good led Canisius with 12 kills and a .500 attack percentage on the day, to go along with a team-best four blocks.
MEN’S HOCKEY: Carsen Chubak turned back 42 shots, 17 in the third period alone, for his fifth shutout of the season as he backstopped Niagara’s 3-0 Atlantic Hockey Association victory over Robert Morris at Dwyer Arena. Hugo Turcotte and Giancarlo Iuorio scored first-period goals for the Purple Eagles (8-2-3, 7-0-0 AHA). Iuorio’s goal came on the power play. Ryan Murphy added an even-strength goal in the third. In addition to his goal, Iuorio assisted on the Murphy tally.
Chubak went into the week leading Division I in shutouts.