Iona volleyball ends season in quarter-finals of MAAC tournament


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The team also placed 12 student-athletes on the 2022 All-Academic team. 

Kaylin Flukey, Managing Editor

The Iona University volleyball team wrapped up the 2022 season at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship (MAAC) at the HP Field House in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on Nov. 17. 


The Gaels entered the playoffs with the three seed and faced the sixth seed, Quinnipiac University in the first round. The Gaels had defeated the Bobcats in the regular season on Oct. 8 3-1 but lost 1-3 to them on Nov. 6. 


The Gaels lost the first set to the Bobcats, 23-25 but bounced back in the second set defeating them 25-18. However, Quinnipiac found their momentum and won the next two sets 23-25 and 17-25, putting them into the next round and ending Iona’s season. 


Despite the loss, there were outstanding performances by junior Hope Matschner with a match-high of 40 digs and junior Emma Jacobs with her first-career double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs. 


Junior Tamara Pichardo recorded a double-double with 21 assists and 13 digs while also recording a career-high of seven aces, ranking her tied for sixth all-time for most in Iona history. Jen Soto, Greta Stjade, Fleur Wiersma and Julia Thomas were all contributors in the front row. 


The team finished the season with a record of 17-12 and an in-conference record of 12-6. This was an improvement compared to their 10-18 overall record in 2021 and in-conference record of 8-10. 


Matschner was awarded MAAC Libero Player of the Year, becoming the first Iona player to win the award since 2009. The captain finished the 2022 season with 727 digs, the second most in a single season in Iona history. Matschner also led the NCAA in both digs and digs per set (7.06) while winning MAAC Libero of the Week nine times throughout the course of the season. 


Soto was named to the All-MAAC Second Team after finishing the season with a team-best 3.40 hitting percentage. The captain also placed second on the team in kills (190) and kills per set, averaging 2.02. 


The last major award winner for the Gaels was red-shirt freshman Mackenzie Wiggins, who was named to the All-MAAC Rookie Team. Wiggins missed last season due to a knee injury but came back this season leading her team in kills with 208 and kills per set averaging 2.51. Defensively, she finished with 199 digs and averaged 2.40 digs per set, second on the team for both. 


The Gaels not only won awards on the court but in the classroom as well. The MAAC announced its volleyball all-academic awards and to be eligible, a student-athlete must complete two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. Twelve student-athletes were honored to the MAAC All-Academic Team, tied for most in program history before 2010.  


The Iona University volleyball team looks towards the fall where they will look to improve in the 2023 season.