Briana Flagg returned to the rotation in a big way, providing a match-high 23 kills and 15 digs to help Siena get by Canisius 3-2 (24-26, 25-11, 27-29, 25-15, 15-9) Saturday in the ARC. The Saints clinched a MAAC Tournament berth with the victory, and held onto a share for first place.
Prior to the match, Siena assistant Jacqueline Skeen and Canisius assistant Rachel Stoklosa were presented with their 2014 MAAC Championship rings. Both played a big part in the Saints’ ninth title last year.
Katlyn Tyler had 19 kills for Canisius, and Rachel Kline added a match-high 34 digs. The Griffs are battling Niagara for the final MAAC Tournament spot, and they gave the Saints a scare with 26-24 and 29-27 victories in the first and third sets.
Siena placed four players in double figure kills, and middle Samantha Pethokoukis just missed with nine kills and seven blocks.
Sonja Vasovic had 13 kills on the right side, Christina Monroe had 12 in the middle, and Darby Taylor added 11 on the outside. Still, it was Flagg who saw the lion’s share of the work, finishing with a career-high 78 attacks. The effort was made more impressive by the fact that she was returning from a deep thigh bruise that forced her to miss Sunday’s loss at Iona. She played with her leg heavily taped, but after the first set she seemed to hit her stride and gain confidence.
Siena has now advanced to the MAAC Tournament 10 of the last 11 years, the lone exception being in 2013 when it lost out on a three-way tiebreaker for third place.
The Saints conclude regular-season play Sunday with a 1 p.m. match against Niagara. Seniors Erin Bies and Monroe will be honored before the match.