NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The Iona College volleyball team defended home court in emphatic fashion Wednesday evening, sweeping the Saint Peter’s Peacocks in straight sets (25-19, 26-24, 25-22).
Sophomore Jessica Paolucci catalyzed the Gaels to its first set win with 10 straight service points. The streak, which included four service aces, gave Iona a commanding 18-9 lead. Saint Peter’s bounced back with a 6-0 run to get within three, but the rally was halted with a pair of kills from sophomores Mia Bonsignore and Claire Archibald. Senior Kassandra Darnaby and Bonsignore each had four kills to lead the Gaels in the opening set.
The Peacocks opened up set two with a 4-0 lead behind the service of sophomore Kaitlyn Sitton. Head Coach Patric Santiago called a timeout with the Gaels trailing 11-8, but Saint Peter’s expanded its lead to 13-8. Sophomore Amanda Gannon ended the run with her first kill of the game. The Gaels found themselves back in the match behind serving from sophomore Emma Rose and Archibald. With the score knotted at 18, Iona was finally able to break through and come from behind to take a two set lead into the break.
Iona came out firing in the third set, leading it from start to finish. The team hit a match-best .267 in the final set, recording five aces in each the second and the third game. Gannon secured the Gaels’ fourth MAAC win of the season with a kill after Archibald recorded her fifth service ace of the game.
Iona finished the match with 14 aces, the second-highest total in a three-match set over the last fifteen seasons. Archibald and Paolucci each had a team-high five point directly off the serve. In total, six different Iona players contributed an ace.
Rose and Kait Ferritti had 19 and 18 assists respectively. Archibald had the lone double-digit kill total with 11 to go along with 10 digs. Paolucci had a team-high 12 digs. The Gaels hit .214 for the game, recording 43 kills on 103 attempts.
The Maroon & Gold season continues on Saturday at 1 PM against the Canisius College Golden Griffs.