Siena College 3, Rider University 1
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Match
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y.—Despite winning the opening set of the match, the Rider University volleyball team lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contest to Siena College on Saturday afternoon.
The Saints rallied for a 21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-22 victory, keeping their conference playoff hopes alive, heading into the final day of the regular season.
“I thought the team overall played a good match against one of the top teams in the league,” said head coach Christopher Feliciano. “This is the kind of effort that I’ll take on a daily basis and today’s match is a good sign for our program moving forward.”
For Rider (15-13, 6-11 MAAC), senior Bridget Sheerin (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) had 11 kills and junior Jaclyn Webber (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon) and freshman Ryan Ackermann (Leesburg, Va./Stone Bridge) each had 10 kills with Webber also adding 10 digs.
“Jaclyn played a great match today,” said Feliciano. “The setters did a nice job creating splits and Jaclyn understood where to hit the ball. She hit for power and also used her intelligence to place the ball in certain spots.”
Sophomore Brandie Hill (Portland, Ore./Lincoln) had 18 assists, junior Ashlee Amatulli (Menifee, Calif./Temecula Valley) had 16 assists and nine digs and freshman Alaina Piszczek (Sinking Spring, Pa./Berks Catholic) had 19 digs and four assists.
“Tied at one set a piece, we were up by five points in the third set and made four unforced errors in a row,” Feliciano said. “That just sucked the life out of us and we couldn’t recover. In set four, we gave Siena an early lead and then matched them point for point. It was a good, competitive match between two evenly matched teams and unforced errors are something we can correct.”
The match featured 26 ties and 15 lead changes.
The Broncs lost to Siena 3-0 in Lawrenceville on October 13 with the Saints sweeping the season series.
Siena defeated Rider 3-1 and 3-2 last season. The Saints swept the Broncs in two matches in 2011, 3-1 in Lawrenceville and 3-0 in Loudonville. Siena swept Rider 3-0 and 3-1 in the two MAAC matches in 2010 and the Saints also posted 3-0 and 3-1 wins over the Broncs in 2009. Siena has won 24 of the 27 matches in the series with the last Rider series win during the 2004 season.
Heading into the final day of the regular season, one match separates five teams with Manhattan and Fairfield tied for first place (13-4) and Marist (12-4), Iona and Siena (12-5) all with 12 wins. The Red Foxes host Saint Peter’s (2-14 MAAC) at 4 p.m. this afternoon and Manhattan is at cross-town rival Iona tonight at 7 p.m.
The top four teams qualify for the MAAC Championship next week which will be hosted at Siena.
“The conference this season has been the most competitive it has ever been,” Feliciano said. “We are right in the mix with those teams; we split with Manhattan and lost in four or five sets to the other teams at the top. We’ve narrowed the gap which is a good thing going forward since the league is only going to get better.”
Rider completes the 2013 season with a MAAC match at Marist College on Sunday at 1 p.m., with Fairfield at Canisius and Siena hosting Saint Peter’s.