The Siena volleyball team had an encouraging start to its 2014 season Friday afternoon in Buffalo, defeating Patriot League foe Lehigh 3-0 (25-23, 25-22 and 25-23) before falling to Ole Miss 3-0 (25-17, 25-18 and 25-19).
Siena 3, Lehigh 0
Sophomore setter Haley Howell finished off a solid all-around match by serving the final five points as Siena rallied late in the final two sets to pull out an impressive 3-0 (25-23, 25-22 and 25-23) victory over Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks won 20 matches last season and were picked fourth in the powerful Patriot League.
Howell had five aces, the final of which broke a 23-23 tie in the decisive third set. She also collected nine digs and dished out 31 assists, with six different Saints tallying at least four kills.
Western New York native Rachel Stoklosa (Hambrug, N.Y.) led Siena with 11 kills and rounded out a big double-double with 18 digs. Sophomore libero Bobbi Lin Kalama was stout in the back row, tallying a match-high 19 digs.
Siena got eight kills and 12 digs on the right side from Meghann Wright, and six kills and three blocks in the middle from fellow captain Jacqueline Skeen. Christina Monroe killed five of her six swings, and sophomore transfer Sonja Vasovic (Towson) showed well in her Siena debut, finishing with five kills and two blocks.
The Saints played a very clean match, especially for a season-opener. They had eight aces and just five service errors and only recorded 18 attack errors in 140 tries.
Lehigh got a match-high 16 kills from Morgan Lowe, and led past the midway point each set. The Mountain Hawks led the first set 13-9, the second 19-17 and the third 23-20.
Ole Miss 3, Siena 0
Nakeyta Ckair led all players with 14 kills as Ole Miss posted a straight set victory (25-17, 25-18 and 25-19). Siena was in all three sets at the midway point: tied 13-13 in the first, trailing 13-12 in the second, and trailing 13-11 in the third before the Rebels broke loose.
The Saints found their most success in the middle where Skeen killed 10 of her 16 attacks and Monroe finished six of her 11 tries. Ole Miss and Siena were even with 41 digs apiece as Kalama completed a solid opening day with 12 digs for the Saints.
Wright finished with five kills, eight digs and two aces in the loss. Howell again had 31 assists.
Ole Miss hit a robust .382 for the match, including .500 (15-2-26) in the second set. Siena connected on just 15% of its attacks.
The Saints complete play in the Buffalo Invite with a 12 p.m. match against the host Bulls on Saturday.