By Lauren Amour
The volleyball team was at home this weekend looking for wins against two MAAC opponents, the Canisius Golden Griffins on Oct. 13 and the Niagara Purple Eagles on Oct. 14.
Despite strong offensive efforts from senior hitter Savannah Logan, who now leads the team with 164 kills, and senior hitter Hailey Riede with five kills, the Broncs were not enough to hold off the surging Griffs.
Rider quickly fell 2-0 to Canisius and did not show some life until the third frame, in which the two teams went back and forth.
In addition to Logan and Riede, senior hitter Perry Williams and sophomore hitter Meredith Pellegrino combined for eight kills to help contribute to the Broncs’ struggling offense. Freshman setter Anilee Sher posted her 11th double-double of the season and her 7th in a row, with 21 assists and 10 digs. Sher also supplied one kill and one block assist for the match.
Junior libero Rachelle Runyon had 10 digs on the backline, and sophomore setter Danielle Blanco had six. Additionally, Logan had five digs of her own.
The Broncs suffered a sweep by the Griffs, by scores of 25-17, 25-8 and 25-16. The loss helped Canisius to their fourth straight win, and completed the regular season sweep of Rider. The Griffs evened their overall record to 9-9, but their MAAC record to an impressive 7-2.
Rider’s loss against Canisius marked the first of the season in which the Broncs lost in MAAC play on a Saturday.
Luckily, the Broncs picked up the slack and split their weekend match-ups 1-1 with a sweep against Niagara on Sunday.
Rider remained dominant through all three frames, topping the Purple Eagles by scores of 25-12, 25-22 and 25-17.
The Broncs posted 16 kills and a .382 hitting percentage in the first set. Through the first frame, Logan carried the Rider offense by recording her sixth double-double of the season, with 13 out of Rider’s 16 kills being attributed to her. This was a new match-high for the hitter, and she also added 12 digs.
Riede contributed 11 digs, marking the ninth time this season in which she had 10 or more in a match. Her season-best .476 hitting percentage helped prevent the Purple Eagles from earning their fourth straight win and was the third time this season she posted a hitting percentage over .400 in a match.
Junior hitter Alexa Shello also helped the offense by contributing nine kills. Sher chipped in by adding 38 assists and nine digs for the day.
Williams was a force to be reckoned with at the net with seven kills, four solo blocks and two block assists. Her hitting percentage for the match was .462. On the backline, Runyon continued her strong defensive play by posting 12 digs, making it the 16th match in a row in which she posted 10 or more digs.
The Broncs are now looking ahead to next weekend in which they play two more MAAC opponents in Connecticut, against the Fairfield Stags on Oct. 20 and Quinnipiac Bobcats on Oct. 21. Rider is hoping to earn a win and be above .500 in both their overall and MAAC record.