Iona Volleyball starts season with win at Army Invitational 


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Iona showed improvement in the invitational compared to 2019 when they lost all three of their games.

Jason Piccolomini, Staff Writer

Iona women’s volleyball was able to dig out a win in the Army Invitational this past weekend. The girls started the invitational off strong with a 3-0 win over Merrimack before dropping the next two matches to Providence and Army.  

The win in the team’s opening game of the season shows improvement early.  The last time the volleyball team played in the Army Invitational was 2019, in which Iona lost all three matches.  

Iona jumped out to an early lead in the first set, and junior Julia Thomas’ ace gave the Gaels a 10-point lead while sophomore Kierra Roth sealed the set at 25-13 with an ace of her own. They won the second set by a score of 25-19.  

The Gaels began to trail in the beginning of the third set, but quickly took the lead back. They then scored 12 points consecutively and ended the game on a kill by senior Cassandra Patsos. 

It was a total team effort against Merrimack, as Patsos, Roth and senior Alessandra Brady all collected aces in the victory. The trio all finished with double-digit blocks as well.  

2019 was a season to forget for the Gaels because of their 5-23 record, a drastic difference from their 20-8 record in 2018. They were the number one seed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference that season and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament. In a shortened 2020 season, the Gaels only played 10 matches in which they went 3-7. They were not able to shake off the 2019 struggles, but COVID-19 cutting the season short 18 games certainly did not help.  

That 3-7 record in 2020 was all against MAAC teams and was over five days. The Gaels had four days where they played doubleheaders and only one day where they played one match.  

This year hopes to be calmer in terms of a consistent schedule. The Gaels are looking to play a full schedule and face not only teams in the MAAC, but teams across other conferences. The Gaels have the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing Cherry, the White Challenge and the Big Apple Challenge coming up.  

Hurricane Ida, not the pandemic, has been the problem as of right now for the team. Iona’s last two matches have been cancelled because of the Sept. 1 floods. The Gaels look to continue their momentum and return to their 2018 form as their season resumes.