The surging Siena volleyball team evened its MAAC record with its fourth straight league win Sunday, knocking off Loyola 3-1 (25-12, 21-15, 25-18 and 28-26) on UHY Court at the ARC. Taylor Akana was the star, racking up 25 kills in the victory.
The Saints came out on fire, playing one of their best sets of the season in a 25-12 win in the opener. Akana had eight of her 25 kills in the first set, establishing the tone for her monster performance.
Loyola rebounded for a 25-21 win in the second set to tie the match heading to intermission.
The third set was tied at 16-16 before Siena scored four straight behind the service of setter Sarah Sivertson to assume control.
The Saints carried the momentum into the fourth set, building an 18-9 lead behind the dominating serve of emerging junior Arielle Smith, but the Greyhounds dug deep and mounted a furious rally, taking a 25-24 lead with a 16-6 run. Akana killed two of the final three points to turn the tide and finish things off.
Although Akana led the charge, the Saints got contributions from many sources. Freshman Jacquiline Skeen had 10 kills and was a part of 10 blocks for the Saints. Libero Lesli Akeo registered a match-high 27 digs.
Smith finished a fabulous weekend with five aces, leading the way for a Siena team that served with controlled aggression all weekend. Sivertson logged 43 assists, and Elizabeth Ives had two aces and was a part of eight blocks. Colleen Ahearn reached double figures in kills with a huge finish that gave Siena a 27-26 lead in the final set.
Faye Lukas led Loyola with 14 kills.
The Saints have climbed back into the MAAC race. They have two huge matches this week, traveling to face Iona on Tuesday and Marist on Saturday.