Women’s volleyball begin season with intent


Photo Courtesy of ionagaels.com

Five wins out of six is the Gaels best start since in over 20 years.

Kaylin Flukey, Managing Editor

The Iona University women’s volleyball team has started the 2022 season hot, winning five out of their first six games. 

The Gaels picked up their first three wins of the season in their home tournament where they hosted Providence College, Holy Cross and Central Connecticut State University in their first tournament of the season on Aug. 26-27 at Hynes Athletics Center. 

The team fell to Providence in the opening set of the match 16-25 but they quickly bounced back, closely defeating the Friars in the next three sets. The Gaels then faced Holy Cross the next day defeating them 3 sets to 1. The last match up of the tournament was against Central Connecticut where the Gaels defeated the Blue Devils 3-0. 

Junior co-captain, Hope Matschner was a key player for the Gaels in the opening weekend. Matschner finished the tournament with 89 digs earning her the title of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Libero of the Week. In the match-up against Providence, Matschner recorded a new career-high of 40 digs which are the most digs in a game by a Gael since 2015. 

Another standout player for the Gaels was redshirt freshman, Kenzie Wiggins. Wiggins missed her first season due to a torn ACL during the 2021 preseason. The outside hitter made her debut with a match-high of 13 kills against Providence. She added 14 more kills by the end of the tournament. 

Helping Wiggins out in the front row was junior transfer, Greta Stjade. Stjade had a match-high of 11 kills against Holy Cross and finished the tournament with a total of 35 kills. The outside hitter currently leads the team with 70 kills in just the first six games of the season. 

The Gaels were selected sixth in the 2022 MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The team is already exceeding expectations with the program’s best start in the past 10 years. The team had to work incredibly hard during the off season and preseason to reach their goals. 

“It’s great to be able to showcase all the hard work we have put in this spring and during double days this preseason,” Wiggins said. “It’s nice to be able to start high, and we are working to continue that and grow moving forward.” 

The biggest change this season for the Gaels has been the team receiving a new head coach. Andy Mueller was named head coach in July of 2022. Before Iona, he served as assistant head coach at Long Island University. Mueller is already making big changes to the program and the team is excited to be working alongside him. 

The Gaels will travel to Boston for the 2022 Northeastern Tournament on Sept. 9-10. 

MAAC play will begin on Sept. 17 for the Gaels, where they will travel to Loudonville, NY, to face Siena.  

This season the MAAC Tournament will be hosted at Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, from Nov. 17-19. The last time the tournament was hosted there the Gaels won their second MAAC Championship in program history.