Iona volleyball clinches third seed for MAAC tournament


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Hope Matschner managed three aces in a row during the game. 

Lachlan Wellington, Sports Editor

The Iona women’s volleyball team clinched the third seed for the upcoming Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament, after beating Manhattan College 3-0 on senior day at the Hynes Athletic Center.  


Graduating seniors Lillian Thomas, Samantha Juran, Emma Jacobs, Julia Thomas and Fleur Wiersma played their last ever home match for the Gaels, because the MAAC tournament is being hosted in Orlando, Florida this season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  


All five seniors played on senior day and were key performers for the Gaels during the game, which the Gaels swept 3-0, winning 25-14, 25-14, 26-24.

Emma Jacobs led the Gaels’ offensive effort with nine kills, while Wiersma, Mackenzie Wiggins and Elena Bianchi chipped in with eight kills each.

Senior setter Samantha Juran led the team with assists, notching 21 on her last home game as a Gael and junior setter Tamara Pichardo managed 14 assists. Together, the pair dished out 35 of the team’s 38 assists during the game.

Hope Matschner led the team on the defensive side once again, pouring in with a match-high 20 digs. This performance marked the end of a historic regular season for the junior libero, as she finished the ’22 season with 722 digs, at an average of 7 digs per set. 


The Gaels also recorded 11 aces as a team during the senior day victory.  

The win against Manhattan College on Nov. 11 stopped a run of two straight defeats for the Gaels, which was the first time they had lost two conference games in a row all season.

The win also meant that the Gaels clinched the third seed ahead of the MAAC tournament, as Iona finished with an overall record of 17-11 and 12-6 in conference play. The Gaels finished with an overall win percentage of .607 and .667 in MAAC play. The Gaels also went 9-3 at home, 6-7 away and 2-1 at neutral venues.

The Gaels will play Quinnipiac University, who are the number six seed, in the quarter-final round of the MAAC tournament on Nov. 17. Iona went 1-1 during the season against Quinnipiac University, winning the first game they played against them away 3-1, but losing the home return fixture 1-3.   


If the Gaels do beat Quinnipiac University in the quarter-final round of the MAAC tournament, they will either play the number two seed Marist College, the number seven seed Niagara University or the number ten seed Saint Peter’s University on Nov. 18.