Nov. 4, 2006
Christie Gustafson had a match-high 13 kills to power the Saints (16-12, 12-3) past Niagara University (4-19, 2-14), 3-0 (30-17, 30-25, 30-22) Saturday afternoon at the Gallagher Center in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action.
Siena used an eight-point run to open a 21-9 lead in game one. Gustafson and Nadiege Honore each had four kills in the game, which also saw Siena record five service aces.
After Niagara opened a 19-16 lead, Siena scored seven-straight points, two via aces, to take a 23-19 lead in game two. The Purple Eagles used a kill and a solo block by Rush to go with a service ace by junior Mallory Boron to tie the game, 25-25. Siena then used two blocks, two Niagara errors and kill to pick up the 30-25 win.
The Saints opened game three with an 8-1 run and never looked back. Niagara rallied to a 27-22 deficit after two aces by Rush. Siena won the game with a Gustafson kill.
In addition to Gustafson, Honore added nine kills and Burgandy McCurty had eight. Setter April London collected 26 kills in the first two games before giving way to freshman Kaui Robello who capably filled in with 12 assists in the finale. Robello also anchored Siena's defense with 17 digs.
Niagara was led by junior Raelean Rush with nine kills. She added four service aces and 11 digs. Junior Sara Mancini led both teams with 18 digs.
The Saints take on Canisius in Buffalo Sunday in a match that will likely determine who will earn the second seed in the upcoming MAAC Championships. The Saints close their season with two home matches next week. Siena plays Marist on TW3 Thursday night at 9 before a Senior Day contest against Iona next Sunday at 4 p.m.