It took the Siena volleyball team a while to get going Sunday, but once it did there was no looking back. The Saints broke free from a 1-1 tie against an improving Rider team by posting convincing 25-19 and 25-11 wins after intermission to finish off their fifth straight home victory.
The Saints improve to 7-3 in MAAC play. They host Iona Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Sophomore Rachel Stoklosa led all players with 15 kills. Lesli Akeo had 23 digs, but it was her serve that was a real difference maker. The Saints scored 23 points while Akeo was serving, and she keyed a huge run early in the fourth set that put the Saints up 10-2.
Siena had a 15-9 lead in the first set before Rider reeled off eight straight to take a two point lead. The Saints regrouped, and pulled away for a 25-20 win. In the second set, it was Rider that saw a big lead evaporate. The Broncs led 21-15 before Siena scored six straight behind Akeo's service to tie it. The Broncs responded though, and pulled out a 25-22 win to tie the match.
Siena inserted red-shirt freshman Meghann Wright for sets three and four, and their energy improved. Wright killed two of her four attacks and had five digs, but she also served the ball effectively.
Colleen Ahearn posted double figures kills for the seventh straight, finishing 13 of her 31 attacks. Taylor Akana added 10 kills and 14 digs for her 13th double-double of the season, and Jacquile Skeen killed five of her six attacks in the decisive fourth set to finish with nine kills in the middle.
The Saints had more service aces (9) than errors (7) for just the fifth time this season, and their aggressive approach kept Rider on the defensive. Akeo led all players with three aces.
Bridget Sheerin and Stephanie Nagy each had 11 kills to lead Rider which lost its second straight match after winning three in a row. Libero Brittany Gajewski had 28 digs to lead all players.