Taylor Akana had a dominant week with her attack, defense and serve
Oct. 13, 2013
Taylor Akana had 14 kills and 17 digs to lead Siena to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-20 and 25-22) sweep of Rider Sunday in Lawrenceville, N.J. The Saints improved to a MAAC-best 8-1 on the season and a perfect 6-0 in conference road games.
Rachel Stoklosa joined Akana with a double-double on the outside, posting 10 kills and 11 digs.
With Akana and Stoklosa controlling the outside, the middle opened up for Jacqueline Skeen and Christina Monroe, and the pair responded by killing 19 of their 31 attacks.
The result was one of the most efficient efforts of the season against a Rider team that was 10-6 entering the match. The Saints dominated the match statistically, holding a 54-24 advantage in kills and a 66-38 edge in digs.
Freshman setter Haley Howell was the catalyst to the efficient offense, collecting 41 assists in the three sets. Classmate Bobbi Lin Kalama saw her streak of six straight match-high dig performances snapped by Akana, but she played solid back row defense and ended with 15 digs.
Siena set the tone for the match by hitting .424 (18-4-33) in the first set. Reserve Nyah Bonilla and Akana each served long runs to stake the Saints to a big lead. Siena trailed 12-11 in the second set, and led just 21-19 before winning four of the final five points to take a 2-0 lead. The Saints clung to a 19-17 lead in the third set when freshman Kiara Pierre led a mini run that provided the decisive separation.
Siena edged a half of a game ahead of idle Manhattan (7-1) in the MAAC standings. Six of the Saints final nine conference matches are at home, beginning with next weekend's rematches against Quinnipiac (Saturday) and Fairfield (Sunday). The top-four teams will compete in the MAAC Championships November 23-24 in the ARC.