NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College volleyball team secured a berth into the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship with a four-set win over Manhattan at the Hynes Center. By virture of its one set win, the Jaspers also secured a bid for next weekend's championship.
Iona came out firing in the first two sets, winning 25-20 and 25-12. After the 10-minute break, and needing a set win to secure their playoff hopes, Manhattan scrapped through three match point attempts by the Gaels and won 29-27. Iona used a late run sparked by four straight kills by junior OH Catrina Warren to win the fourth set 25-21.
Warren had 18 of her match-high 25 kills in the final two sets. She had a 20-20 doubled-double with 23 kills and hit a team-best .365 in the win.
Junior RS Taylor Cembalisty posted a 13-kill, 18-dig double-double adding four assists, two aces and two blocks. Sophomore setter Natalie Ziskin was the third Gael with a double-double with 51 assists and 12 digs.
Senior OH Alicja Pawelec provided eight kills, 11 digs, three blocks and two aces. Both middle hitters for the Gaels recorded 10 or more points in the win. Junior Shannon Ward had seven kills and seven blocks while her counterpart, sophomore McKenzie Humann posted seven kills and five blocks.
Senior libero Madisyn Spence matched her teammate Warren with 23 digs and was perfect on 14 serve receptions.
Manhattan OH Ellie Wiekamp posted 15 kills and 21 digs to lead her squad. Setter Teodora Peric had 39 assists and 14 digs.
With the win, Iona joins Manhattan as the only two teams in the MAAC to earn at least one win over each of their league foes. The Gaels await their seed an opponent in next week's championship. It appears Iona cannot finish any lower than the No. 3 seed, but with the right results Sunday, it is still possible for the team to be No. 1.