It is safe to say it was not a great weekend at home for the Manhattan volleyball team.
After losing in straight sets on Saturday against Marist, the team was defeated once again on Sunday by Siena.
The match, which ended in straight sets (26-28, 25-27, 14-25), marked the first back-to-back straight-set-defeat for Manhattan since the 2012 season, when it lost on Oct.24 against Army and Oct. 27 against Siena.
It also marked the first time Manhattan has lost back-to-back home games at Draddy Gymnasium since the 2010 season, when it lost on Oct. 2 to Niagara and Oct. 3 to Canisius.
After the defeat against Marist, Jasper’s head coach Mark Jones commented that although the Siena Saints entered with a 4-10 record, they would be a tough matchup.
“They’re always kind of unpredictable most of the time, and they have a lot of kids back,” said Jones.
And Jones was absolutely right, as it was Siena’s upperclassmen who led the way. Senior Jacqueline Skeen had a team-high 14 kills and six block assists, and junior Meghann Wright had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs.
But despite being led by its upperclassmen, Siena still had to grind out a victory against Manhattan.
The first set was a back-and-forth contest, as there were 14 ties throughout the set. The teams found themselves even at eight, but a Jade Gray service error ignited a 4-1 run for the Saints, who took a 12-9 lead.
After the Jaspers tied the game at 12, the two teams exchanged the next several points and with the score tied at 21, a Skeen block sparked a 3-0 run that gave the Saints set point.
The Jaspers were able to fight off set point with three consecutive kills—the first by Malia McGuinness, and the next two by Marissa Behrens.
Siena held set point again at 25-24 and 26-25, but Manhattan came back to tie up the score. However, the Saints capitalized after holding set point at 27-26 and wound up winning the first set 28-26.
The second set proved to be almost a replay of the first. It was closely contested, with seven ties and much back-and-forth play.
After Siena got off to a 4-1 lead, Manhattan went on a 10-4 rally to take an 11-8 advantage.
The Saints went on a 6-0 run of their own to come back and take the lead at 14-11. The next 22 points were closely contested, with Manhattan scoring 12 of them and Siena scoring 10 of them to hold set point at 24-23.
Two consecutive points from the Jaspers put Siena’s second set victory in danger, but it was not for long, as the Saints closed out the second set on a 3-0 rally to win it 27-25.
The third and final set seemed like it would follow in the footsteps of the first two sets, as the score stood even at nine.
However, that thought was proven wrong after the Saints went on a 9-1 run that gave them an 18-10 lead.
The Saints did not look back from there, and the dynamic duo of Skeen and Wright teamed up for five of the last seven Siena points that wound up giving Siena a 25-14 third set win and a 3-0 match win.
For the Jaspers, Claire Van Dyk posted her second consecutive double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Sydney Volovski led the team with 13 kills, Allie Yamashiro led the team with 24 digs, and Teodora Peric led the team with 31 assists.
The Jaspers were out blocked 9-3, meaning the team has lost the block battle in five of its six losses this season.
After getting off to a 6-1 start to the season, Manhattan has lost five of its last seven games to leave its record at 8-6. The team is tied for fourth place in the MAAC with a 2-2 record.
Manhattan gets back on the court on Wednesday Oct. 1 when it takes a break from MAAC play and hosts Stony Brook at 7 p.m. in Draddy Gymnasium.