Iona wins second MAAC Championship in program history

Iona earned an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament.

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

The Iona College volleyball team defeated Canisius 3-1 (28-26, 25-18, 12-25, 25-18)  to claim the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title on Saturday. It’s the first time the Gaels won the conference championship in 14 years.

The match opened out with a tight first set, which featured 10 ties and seven lead changes. Iona was able to prevail with help from senior Claire Archibald, who had seven kills in the set.

Canisius bounced back in the second set, beating the Gaels 25-18. Iona closed out the match by winning the next two sets. Iona completely dominated the third set, as the Gaels had a 14-3 lead at one point.

Archibald finished the match with a double-double, 15 kills and 14 digs. Archibald made school history when she became the all-time career kills leader. Senior Emma Rose registered a match high 53 assists. Junior Jamie Smith had 10 kills and 10 digs, while redshirt junior Jessica Paolucci added 15 digs.

Several players on the team received additional conference recognition, as Archibald was named the MAAC Player of the Year, Rose was named the MAAC Setter of the Year and senior Mia Bonsignore was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Head Coach Patric Santiago also received Coach of the Year honors.

Iona’s MAAC Championship victory earned them a spot in the NCAA Tournament. This will be the second time in program history the Gaels will appear in the tournament.

The Gaels will figure out which team they will play during the NCAA Selection Show on Nov. 25. The show will air on ESPNU.