NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College volleyball team moved to 3-1 in the MAAC this afternoon with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-17) victory against local rival Manhattan. The Gaels (5-9, 3-1 MAAC) have won three matches in a row that includes back-to-back sweeps.
The Maroon & Gold posted above .300 hitting percentages in the final two sets today to finish the day just below that mark with a team hitting percentage of .299 led by a .444 percentage and 15 kills from the reigning MAAC Player of the Week, Claire Archibald. Archibald also added 10 digs as well as a pair of aces to her stat line. The reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week, Jamie Smith, added 11 kills in addition to three digs. Tess Connolly and Mia Bonsignore combined for 17 kills as Emma Rose totaled 34 assists. Alexandra Russo netted three service aces to go with her seven digs while Karla Johnson finished with four blocks including two solo.
The Jasper (0-15, 0-3 MAAC) offense was held to a .054 hitting percentage as the trio of Jade Jeffrey, Erin Hoener and Sandra Lozanova each recorded four kills. Taylor Hasley registered 15 assists and eight digs while libero Alyssa Rehrer accumulated 10 digs.
An early 4-0 lead for Iona quickly grew to an 18-10 advantage in the opening set following a kill from Connolly to force a Manhattan timeout. Despite a .194 hitting percentage in the frame, the Gaels took advantage of eight attacking errors that included five blocks from the Maroon & Gold to earn a 25-14 victory. Johnson was a part of three of the blocks while Bonsignore and Archibald were credited with two block assists a piece.
Opening the second set with a 3-1 deficit, Iona strung together a 9-0 run that came with Taylor Cole serving two aces in addition to a pair of kills from Bonsignore. Following a late charge from Manhattan, Archibald swung for back-to-back kills before Russo closed out the 25-17 second set win with three straight service aces. Archibald and Smith evenly split 10 kills in the game, aided by 12 assists from Rose as Iona hit .323.
The team hitting accuracy once again improved in the third and final set as Iona finished with a .371 percentage led by eight kills from Archibald on a .583 percentage. Connolly added five kills of her own with Rose increasing her set assist total to 14. Following a Manhattan timeout, the Gaels scored five of the final six points to edge out a 25-16 set win towards the match sweep with Archibald connecting for a kill on the final tally.
The Maroon & Gold step out of conference play tomorrow afternoon with a trip to NJIT for a 1:00 pm first serve. The trip is the first of four matches away from home for Iona. Additionally, the Gaels upended NJIT 3-2 to start the season at the Bucknell Tournament.