Sept. 25, 2013
The Siena volleyball team had to wait 10 long months for a chance to atone for their heartbreaking MAAC Championship match loss to Fairfield last season. Wednesday night they made the most of that opportunity. The Saints rallied from two sets back to stun the preseason favorites 3-2 (21-25, 21-25, 25-16, 25-20 and 15-12) on their home court.
Junior Rachel Stoklosa had three of her 13 kills late in the fifth set as the Saints (4-9, 3-0) survived seven ties and four lead changes in the race to 15 to emerge with a gutty win.
Siena got the job done with a very balanced attack led by their senior leader Taylor Akana. Akana had a match-high 16 kills and added 17 digs. She had plenty of support in the middle where Jacqueline Skeen killed 11 of her 21 swings without an error and emerging sophomore Christina Monroe had seven kills and four blocks. Meghann Wright had nine kills on the right side, and her service ace gave Siena a key 13-11 edge in the decisive set.
Marilyn Peizer led Fairfield (3-9, 1-1) with 14 kills,17 digs and four blocks. Siena limited preseason MAAC Player of the Year Caitlin Stapleton to 12 kills.
The Saints posted a season-high 10 aces and held a 7-6 edge in blocks. Fairfield stayed alive with great back-row defense, out-digging Siena 68-53.
After dropping the first two sets by identical 25-21 scores, Siena exploded out of the lockerroom to win the third set 25-16 and pulled away for a 25-20 win in the fourth. They held an 8-5 lead in the fifth set before Fairfield reeled off four straight to take the lead. That's when Stoklosa took over, accounting for three of the next four points and Siena led the rest of the way.
Two-time MAAC Rookie of the week Haley Howell continued to impress at setter, logging 43 assists, six digs, three aces and three blocks. Classmate Bobbi Lin Kalama added a match-high 19 digs.
The Saints face two more stiff challenges this weekend as they take on Niagara and Canisius in Western New York.