It was like old times Wednesday night in the ARC. Siena handled MAAC Preseason favorite Fairfield in four sets (25-21, 25-23, 18-25, 25-20), bringing back memories of the four straight titles the Saints took from the Stags from 2005-2008.
Sophomore Rachel Stoklosa continued her progression, tying for a match-high with 16 kills and adding 15 big digs. The Stags wisely hit away from star libero Lesli Akeo most of the night, but Siena had the answer more often than not.
Taylor Akana joined Stoklosa with 16 kills, as setter Sarah Sivertson found her most success on the outside. Sivertson played another strong match, finishing with 43 assists and 12 digs while killing a season-high six of her nine attacks.
Fairfield struggled to find its rhythm on offense all night. The Stags had 33 attack errors, and hit just .085 for the match. If it weren't for a stellar effort by libero Kara Reis', who anchored a strong defensive effort for Fairfield with a match-high 26 digs, it may have been a more decisive outcome. Fairfield held a 72-69 edge in digs, and doubled up the Saints in blocks, 12-6. Senior Brianna Dixion entered the match with tons of success against Siena in her career, but she logged just two sets and four kills.
Akana joined Stoklosa and Sivertson with a double-double, finishing with 12 digs. Akeo tallied 21 digs - 16 off the 37 she had in four sets Sunday - but she came up with some huge saves when Siena needed it most.
The Saints have now defeated the top two teams in the Preseason MAAC Coaches Poll. They knocked off three-time defending champion Niagara in four sets Saturday before falling in four to Canisius Sunday.
Siena travels to New York this weekend to face Saint Peter's Saturday at 2 p.m. and Manhattan Sunday at 2 p.m.