Archibald Sets School Kills Record as Iona Captures MAAC Tournament Championship

  0 volleymob | November 17th, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

No. 1 Iona College def. No. 2 Canisius College 3-1 (28-26, 18-25, 25-12, 25-18)

  • MAAC Volleyball Championship Final
  • Iona moves to 20-7; Canisius moves to 17-12
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex | Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • Box Score

Courtesy: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

No. 1 Iona College (20-7) won the 2018 MAAC Volleyball Championship on Saturday with a 3-1 win over No. 2 Canisius College (17-12). The Gaels had three players in double figures in kills and digs.

Iona Notes

  • It is the second MAAC Championship for Iona. The first came in 2004.
  • The win is the 20th of the season for Iona, which marks the third time in program history that the Gaels have eclipsed that plateau.
  • Claire Archibald became the all-time leader in kills at Iona with 1,549 after her third kill of the match. The senior passed Miki Hogg for the top spot.
  • Archibald added 14 digs for her second double-double of the championship.
  • Emma Rose dished out 53 assists for her seventh game of 50-plus helpers this season.
  • Mia Bonsignore set a new season-high with 16 kills and hit .500.
  • Iona will find out its opponent in the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 p.m. The selection show will air on ESPNU.

Canisius Notes

• The Golden Griffins evened the match at 1-1 after claiming set two, 25-18. The Griffs hit .458 and held Iona to -.026.

Sara Wesley and Melina Woods led Canisius with 11 kills apiece.

Cassidy Ceriani recorded 37 assists and added 10 digs.

Sofia Lopez Acosta picked up 30 digs for the second time in the championship.

Courtesy: Iona Athletics

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – The Iona College volleyball program won the 2018 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship in four sets (28-26, 25-18, 12-25, 25-18) over Canisius on Saturday afternoon. The Gaels clinch an automatic berth into the 2018 NCAA D1 Volleyball Championship for the second time in program history.


The first set had 10 ties and seven lead changes. The Gaels had the first set point at 24-20 but the Golden Griffins rattled off five straight points to take a 25-24 lead. Iona ensured the first game continued with senior Claire Archibald delivering her seventh kill of the set to knot it up.

Iona got the serve back at 26-26. Canisius committed an attacking error to give the Maroon & Gold the advantage and sophomore Jamie Smith ended it at 28-26 with her fourth kill of the set.

Iona hit .161 in the first set. Senior Emma Rose dished out 15 assists and junior Jessica Paolucci had eight digs.

Set two began with the same see-saw action of the first. However, Canisius grabbed momentum once it nabbed an 8-7 lead. The Golden Griffins went on a 5-2 run and a separate 4-0 run a spell later to force a Gaels timeout with deficit at 17-10.

Canisius closed out the second set, 25-18.  Iona had a negative hitting percentage, -0.26, in the set. The Golden Griffins hit .458, led largely by Sara Wesley and her four kills. Megan Woods had three kills. After a strong opening set, Iona’s leading offensive weapons, Archibald and Smith, had just one kill in the second set.

The Maroon & Gold began the third set like gangbusters. Iona won the serve from Canisius with a kill by Smith. Then senior Amanda Gannon took over at the service line. The Gaels scored six straight points and vaulted in front 7-0 and induced a Canisius timeout. Senior Mia Bonsignore had four kills and a block in the first half of the set as the Maroon & Gold went into cruise control up 14-3.

Bonsignore had six kills on seven swings in the third set. She also chipped in a dig and two block assists. Rose had all of Iona’s 16 assists in the game as Iona cruised to a 25-12 set three decision.

The fourth set had four ties and two lead changes, but none coming after Iona took a 9-8 lead. Rose served a significant run and put the Maroon & Gold up 12-8. The Golden Griffins got back within one at 13-12, but Iona went on another 8-2 stretch to make it 21-14. The championship was clinched with junior Tess Connolly putting home kill off an assist from Emma Rose.


  • Bonsignore led all players with 18 points. She had a season-best 16 kills on .500 hitting percentage. Also chipped in a match-best four blocks.
  • Archibald had 14 kills and 14 digs. She hit .209 in the match.
  • Paolucci led the Maroon & Gold with 15 digs. Smith added in 10 digs in addition to her 11 points.
  • Rose had 53 of Iona’s 54 assists. She had her first 50 assist game since Oct. 14 against Quinnipiac. It’s her seventh 50+ assist game this season.
  • The Gaels swept all three matches against the Golden Griffins this season
  • With Saturday’s win, Iona has won 20 games in a single-season for just the third time in program history. The previous seasons were in 2002 and 2010.

Senior Claire Archibald became Iona’s all-time leader in career kills in the first set of the match. She needed just four to take sole possession of the title and she used a phenomenal first set to pick-up another career milestone.

Archibald surpassed Miki Hogg ’05 on the all-time kills list. The two players are linked throughout the Gael record books. Both rank near to or above the top of the all-time rankings in kills, attack attempts and kills per set.


Iona will find out its opponent in the NCAA D1 Volleyball Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 p.m. The selection show is being aired on ESPNU.

Courtesy: Canisius Athletics

The Canisius volleyball team could not complete the historic run in its first-ever MAAC Championship match, falling to regular-season champion Iona Saturday evening, 3-1, as the Gaels earned the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s bid in the NCAA Tournament.

Iona won the match by scores of 26-24, 18-25, 25-12, 25-18 to improve to 20-7 overall. The Blue and Gold end the season at 17-12 overall.

Canisius senior Sara Wesley and freshman Melina Woods led the Griffs with 11 kills each, while juniors Leah Simmons and Gabrielle Darnaby followed with nine kills. Wesley also led the team in blocks with five block assists and a solo block, as Simmons added three block assists. Junior Cassidy Ceriani recorded 37 assists to go with ten digs and two kills, notching her 10th double-double of the season. Senior Sofia Lopez Acosta ended her career totaling 30 digs, her second straight match with 30-plus digs, as the libero also notched five assists. The team’s two service aces came from senior Donnett Hickson, who also tacked on six assists.

For Iona, Mia Bonsignore posted 16 kills to lead the team. Teammates Claire Archibald and Jamie Smith both registered double-doubles, as Archibald recorded 15 kills and 14 digs, while Smith totaled 10 kills and 10 digs. Libero Jessica Paolucci led the Stags with 15 digs, and Tess Connolly racked up four service aces.

In the opening set, the Griffs took a lead halfway through at 15-13 off a 7-1 run. The Gaels responded with an 8-1 run of their own to take a 24-20 advantage, but Canisius fought back with a 5-0 run with set point on the line to retake the lead. Iona pulled out the set though, 26-24.

The second set saw the Blue and Gold give up the first point to the Gaels before taking the lead and never looking back. Using a .458 hitting percentage in the frame and holding Iona to a -.026 clip, the Griffs tie the match up with a 25-18 victory. Iona came out on fire in the third set with a 7-0 opening streak, rolling on to win the stanza with a 25-12 score.

In the fourth set, Canisius jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but Iona chipped away and took a 9-8 advantage. That was all the MAAC’s top team needed, clinching the championship with a 25-18 win over the Griffs to take the match in four sets.

Head Coach Lenika Vazquez‘s Postgame Comments
“We did not get the outcome we wanted today, but we lost to a worthy opponent in Iona. I’m just so proud of the team and what they accomplished this season and this weekend.”

Game Notes
• Saturday’s match was the 45th all-time meeting between these two MAAC schools, with Iona leading the series by a 27-18 margin.
• Wesley’s 11 kills gives her ten matches with 10-plus kills, while Woods also recorded her ten match with double-digit kills.
• Lopez Acosta recorded 20-plus digs in 15 matches this season, and 30-plus in three contests.
• Lopez Acosta’s 30 digs Saturday helped the senior move into sixth in program history, ending with 577 digs on the season.
• With 1002 career digs, Lopez Acosta ends three short of Jennifer Hall (1005 digs) for 10th all-time in the program record books.
• Ceriani has recorded 30-or-more assists 21 times this season. The setter’s 1,015 assists this season sits 7th all-time.
• Ceriani’s 2,704 career assists moves her into sole possession of third in program history, needing 1,004 more to move into second all-time.
• Wesley boosted her career hitting percentage to .256, sitting seventh in program history (minimum 500 kills), four points shy of Amy Allen’s .260 clip.

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