NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College volleyball team completed an unblemished Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference weekend at home with a three-set win over Manhattan at the Hynes Center. The Gaels kept the Jaspers off-balance with a strong serve and a stingy defense in their fourth straight win at the Hynes Center.
Iona took the lead for good in set one on the third point of the match. Leading 10-9, the Gaels scored four straight points to open a comfortable five-point advantage. A couple of points later, a 5-1 Maroon & Gold run put the home team ahead 20-12. The squad held on to a 25-15 set win.
The Jaspers stayed close in the second set, never allowing Iona to hold more than a three-point advantage. Trailing 19-16, Manhattan tallied five of the next seven points to knot the score at 21-21. The Gaels' 4-1 run to end the match was capped by rookie S Caris Myles entrance for the final serve and point that gave her team a 25-22 set victory.
Iona never trailed in the third, building a 7-0 lead. The Jaspers never got closer than six points and the Gaels closed the set, 25-12. The Maroon & Gold won all six sets at home. In their four game stretch, Iona won 11 of its last 13 sets played after trailing Rider 2-1 last weekend.
Iona's triple threat offensive attack was led by sophomore OHs Madisyn Spence and Alicja Pawelec and rookie MB Catrina Warren. Spence posted 10 kills and a .412 hitting percentage. Warren continued her torrid stretch at home with 10 kills, three digs, two assists and a block while hitting .467. After two attack errors in her first four attempts, Warren hit .727 the rest of the way to ignite her team to victory. Pawelec led Iona with 11.5 points recording nine kills, two aces and a block. She added six digs defensively.
Junior MB Molly O'Shea completed a solid weekend, hitting .500 with five kills in 10 attempts. In the two matches, O'Shea had 11 kills on 18 attempts with no errors for a .611 percentage. She matched a team best three blocks in the win.
Senior S Nicole Tamburri catalyzed a .306 team hitting percentage with 29 assists in the win. She had four kills, seven digs and three blocks in a solid all-around effort.
Iona's back row defense remained stellar with junior libero Theresa Harvey posting 14 digs. Sophomore DS Ellen Carberry and freshman DS Katie Marabella combined for 10 digs. The trio was perfect on 33 serve receptions vs. Manhattan and all 63 on the weekend. The Gaels held their opponent's to a .043 hitting percentage in the two matches.
Manhattan's LaKell Havens and Malia McGuinness each had six kills. Setter Hollegn Henderson had 17 assists while libero Julie Bies led with seven digs.
The Gaels are off until next Saturday (Oct. 15) when they travel to Fairfield to take on the 8-1 Stags on the road in a battle of the No. 2 and No. 3 teams midway through the MAAC campaign.