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The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Sixth seed Iona squared away for playoff run

The Iona University volleyball team concluded their 2023 regular season with matches against Manhattan College, Canisius University, and Niagara University at the Hynes Athletic Center. 

Iona played the Manhattan Jaspers on Nov. 4, their first head-to-head matchup since Oct. 14.  

Manhattan had the set victory in their hands after consecutive 25-22 wins to open the frame, but Iona surged in the next three, completing the reverse sweep.  

The Gaels opened set three with a 4-1 lead due to a pair of kills from senior Morgan Madasz and one by rookie Ava DeGuzman.  

The Jaspers cut the lead to 9-8 later on, but the Gaels went on a 10-5 run to complete the set. Setters Emma Vu and Tamara Pichardo and senior libero Hope Matschner produced 18 assists altogether.  

Set four was a back-and-forth effort to start thanks to four lead changes and nine ties. After pulling ahead 15-14, however, Iona never relinquished its lead and capped things off with an 11-3 run, winning 25-17.  

Iona kept the hot streak rolling in the final set, defeating Manhattan 15-8. Sophomore Mackenzie Wiggins put the nail in the coffin with back-to-back aces near the end of the outing. 

Following a one-week break, Iona was back in action at the Hynes Center for a match against Canisius University on Nov. 11.  

The result of this affair was eerily similar to the previous week versus Manhattan, as Iona once again won the final three sets for a reverse sweep.  

Five Gaels had multiple kills in the third set, three of which came by way of Madasz and senior Jen Soto.  

Sets four and five saw Wiggins go 5-for-7 on attack attempts, sophomore Rose Porter tab 10 digs and Iona make two runs of five or more straight points.  

The volleyball team’s regular season schedule came to an end with a 1 p.m. showdown against Niagara University on Nov. 12. Head coach Andy Mueller and the Iona volleyball program honored eight combined seniors and graduate students before the contest as part of Senior Day.  

The Gaels were defeated 3-1 on the day, but two key milestones were achieved by Matschner and graduate Samantha Juran. Matschner, who scored 26 digs in total, became the second player in program history to record 2,000 career digs, while Juran is now one of eight players to have 2,000 assists for Iona.  

After clinching a postseason spot on Nov. 12, Iona is in line for a first round MAAC Championship playoff match with Marist College on Nov. 17.  

 

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Robert Hughes, Sports Editor

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