Canisius' quest for its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women's volleyball championship ended Saturday in a four-set loss to Rider at the Albany Capital Center.
In their first season under coach Shannon Thompson, the Golden Griffins (9-4, 7-3 MAAC) reached the MAAC tournament final for the second time. The Griffs' other trip to the final resulted in a loss to Iona in 2018. There is not a senior on Canisius' roster.
It was Rider's first championship in MAAC women's volleyball. Fairfield and Siena each have won nine conference titles.
After a 9-9 tie in the first set, Canisius trailed the rest of the way in a 25-20 loss. Two kills by the Broncs' Morgan Romano ended the second set 29-27 after Canisius failed to hold a 19-16 lead.
The Griffs were about to close out the third set, leading 24-16, but Rider, behind six kills by Jillian Chan, cut it to 24-22 before Giulia La Longa's kill with an assist from Callie Chamulak ended it.
La Longa's kill evened the fourth set at 24, but a Canisius error and a service ace by Chan produced match point.
Romano had 24 kills in the match for the Broncs. Chan had 17.
Ella Louissa had 19 kills and Hannah Nelson had 10 for Canisius. Ashley Kekeisen led the Griffs with 29 assists. Bree Long had 26 digs.
Region 3 champion ECC falls in District play
Erie Community College, which had won its first NJCAA Region 3 championship in women's volleyball since 1982, was eliminated by Raritan Valley (N.J.) 25-12, 25-10 and 25-23 in the East District semifinals in Scranton, Pa. Caroline Zanghi (St. Mary's) led the Kats with 10 kills.
Aurora Davis was Region 3 Player of the Year. Tabitha Allen (Lake Shore) and Jiana Kresconko (Frontier) made All-Region, while ECC's Craig Starzynski was Region 3 Coach of the Year.