Jaspers Beat Iona on the Road for First Time Since 2006

It had been eight years since the Manhattan College volleyball team last defeated the Iona Gaels at the Hynes Athletic Center in New Rochelle, but that changed on Saturday after Manhattan emerged victorious in five sets over the Gaels.

Here are a few statistical highlights of what Manhattan’s win over Iona means.

The volleyball team is on a five game winning streak after their win over Iona. Photo by Kevin Fuhrmann.
The volleyball team is on a five game winning streak after their win over Iona. Photo by Kevin Fuhrmann.

Snapping an Eight-year Losing Streak

Manhattan had not beaten Iona on the road since Oct. 22, 2006. In fact, the closest the Jaspers got to defeating the Gaels was the ensuing season in 2007, where they lost in five sets. The other six contests, from 2008-2013, resulted in three or four-sets defeats for the Jaspers.

But fortunes changed on Oct. 18, and the Jaspers finally got the monkey off its back by defeating Iona.

The teams took turns winning sets. Manhattan started the contest off with a 25-20 first set win. Iona won the second set 25-23. Manhattan won the third 25-18 and Iona won the fourth 25-19, to send the match into a decisive fifth set.

Iona entered the fifth set with a 1-4 record in five-set matches this season, while Manhattan had a more respectable 2-2 record in five-set matches.

Sydney Volovski put Manhattan on the board first in the fifth set with a kill, which Iona responded to with a kill of its own.

However, that was the closest the score ever got, as Manhattan began to click and never looked back. The Jaspers went on a 9-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 10-3.

Iona tried to stir a rally by going on a 6-2 run of its own which put the score at 12-9 in Manhattan’s favor.

But the Jaspers quieted the storm with a timeout and then ended the match with three of the next five points to win the fifth set 15-11.

Manhattan collected 115 digs as a team, the most it has collected in a game in the entire season.

Despite being out-blocked 17-4, the Jaspers were able to stay in the game behind stellar play from several members of the team.

Manhattan’s “Fab Five”

Although 10 players played in Manhattan’s five-set win, it was the performances of five players that stood out.

Claire Van Dyk had her best game as a Jasper, registering 12 kills, three assists and a season-high 19 digs. This marks the fourth consecutive game with double-digit digs for Van Dyk and the second consecutive game with a double-double.

Allie Yamashiro had seven assists, two service aces, and a team-high 32 digs.

Sydney Volovski had team-high and season-high 23 kills, and also contributed in the block department with three block assists.

Jade Gray continued her hot stretch with six kills, 48 assists and a career-high 18 digs.

In her three starts filling in at setter for Teodora Peric, Gray has a total of 19 kills,—1.46 per set—145 assists—11.15 per set—and 42 digs—3.23 per set.

Coming off a MAAC Player of the Week honor, Malia McGuinness continued her red-hot stretch with 20 kills and 27 digs. McGuinness continued to be Manhattan’s most consistent source of offense and is on the best stretch of her collegiate career.

McGuinness is on Fire

  Kills Assists Digs
Jade Gray 48 18
Malia McGuinness 20 3 27
Claire Van Dyk 12 3 19
Sydney Volovski 23 1 1
Allie Yamashiro 0 7 32
Above, a look at the box score for Manhattan’s top performers against Iona. 

Malia McGuinness has not only been Manhattan’s best player in October so far, but she might just be the best player in the MAAC as well.

McGuinness registered six double-doubles in seven games this month, and her 20 kills, 27 digs performance against Iona marks her second consecutive 20-20 game.

The game against Iona also marks the third straight game in which McGuinness has finished with more than 20 digs.

McGuinness currently sits in first place in the MAAC with 3.46 kills per set and is ninth in digs with 3.69 per set.

Her performances last week earned her MAAC Player of the Week honors and a performance like the one against Iona is one that will most likely give her a second consecutive Player of the Week award.

Where the Win Leaves Manhattan on the Season

The game against Iona signaled the halfway mark in the MAAC regular season.

Manhattan holds a 6-3 record after nine games in the MAAC schedule, and a 13-8 record overall.

The team sits one game behind last season’s pace, where the team was 7-2 in the MAAC after nine games.

The win also marks a season-high fifth win in a row, which Manhattan will put to test in the upcoming week, with games against Saint Peter’s at home on Oct. 22 and a trip to Buffalo over the weekend to face Canisius and Niagara.