Sept. 29, 2012
It wasn't easy, but the Saints found a way to get the job done Saturday in the ARC. Siena rallied past rival Marist in five sets (25-20, 22-25, 16-25, 25-13 and 15-10) behind 17 kills from Colleen Ahearn and Taylor Akana.
Marist (5-11, 1-5) pressed the Saints to limit, leading 2-1 after a convincing 25-16 win in the third set. Siena (10-8, 4-2) showed its maturity, bouncing back for a dominant 15-13 triumph in the fourth, and pulling away late for a 15-10 win in the fifth.
Akana has seven of her 17 kills in the first set, and Siena appeared on its way to an easy win with a comfortable 25-20 decision. Then things got interesting. Marist won a back-and-forth second set to square the match, and the Red Foxes exploded after intermission to post the nine-point win in the third.
Head coach Garvey Pierre mixed up his lineup late in the match, inserting seniors Amanda Sawlsville and Elizabeth Ives. Both played a key role in the win. Ives keyed a decisive 6-0 run in the fourth set that gave the Saints a chance to regroup, and Sawlsville killed all four of her attacks, collected six digs and was a part of two blocks.
Setter Sarah Sivertson deserves credit for making adjustments as the match advanced as well. The Saints eventually found their trademark balance with Akana and Rachel Stoklosa each posting double-doubles on the outside, and Ahearn emerging late in the middle as the star of the match.
Katie Estes and Mackenzie Stephens each had 12 kills for Marist. Marisa Gilbert and Hanna Stoiberg each had eight.
Lesli Akeo led all players with 25 digs for Siena, 18 coming in the first two sets.
As with last Sunday's five set loss at Manhattan, Siena dominated the match statistically, controlling a 65-54 edge in kills, a 73-53 advantage in digs and an 11-5 lead in blocks. This time, Siena learned from its mistakes, and was able to pull out the win.
The Saints have a rare weekend off-day tomorrow. They travel to face MAAC contenders Fairfield and Iona next weekend.