Gaels drop two of three games at Dog Pound Invitational

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

The Iona College volleyball team (2-4) started the 2017 season in reasonable fashion with a 3-2 victory over NJIT in the Bucknell Tournament on August 26. However, things quickly went down the wrong direction as the Gaels dropped four of their last five games.

Iona is coming off a Dog Pound Invitational appearance where the team was swept in two of the three games faced. The Gaels earned a 3-2 victory over Hartford in the second game of the tournament on Sept. 1.

The Gaels were down 2-1 until they managed to beat the Hawks 25-14 in the fourth set. Iona used an 8-1 run, which was led by freshman Jamie Smith and junior Emma Rose, in the fifth set to walk away with a 15-13 victory.

Junior Claire Archibald paced the Gaels with 23 kills, two blocks and five aces. Sophomore Tess Connolly registered 11 kills, while Smith tallied eight kills and two blocks. The win was a nice response for Iona after dropping game one to UConn.

LSU spoiled Iona’s final day at the Dog Pound Invitational with a 3-0 victory on Sept. 2. The Gaels were down 14-13 in the first set until the Tigers went on a commanding 11-4 run to ride away with the victory. LSU was in full control during the last two sets to end the tournament on a high note. Archibald and Smith each picked six kills.

Archibald, who was the team leader in kills last season, has a team best 86 kills through six games. Smith, the reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week, has 48 kills. Rose has racked up an impressive 186 assists.

The Gaels won’t be back in action until Friday when they compete in the Dartmouth Invitational against Sacred Heart, Dartmouth and Syracuse.

Iona’s first home game of the season will be on Sept. 13 against Central Connecticut. The following two home games will be against conference foes Fairfield and Quinnipiac.