Red Hawks Look to Hold On to Playoff Spot in Last Four Matches

By Anthony Paradiso, Assistant Sports Editor

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April DiAngelo serves the ball for Montclair State
Ben Caplan | The Montclarion

This weekend, the Montclair State University women’s volleyball team lost three of four games at the Stevens Invitational. Despite taking the first set 30-28, the Red Hawks lost their first game to the United States Coast Guard Academy before losing in straight sets to Farleigh Dickinson University-College at Florham and Stevens Institute of Technology.

In their final game of the tournament, the Red Hawks won in straight sets against Union College, 25-14, 27-25 and 28-26. Freshman Siyara Herbert stepped up with 15 kills, 16 digs and four blocks. Junior Ashley Griffith had a double-double with 37 assists and 12 digs, while Junior Natalia Majkut and Sophomore Jillian Wilson each added ten kills.

The Red Hawks hosted Moravian College in their final home game of the season on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Herbert led the Red Hawks in this game with 18 kills. Sophomore Caitlin Lange played a well-rounded game with 15 kills and eight blocks. After leading two sets to one, the Red Hawks lost narrowly in sets four and five.

Herbert has been on fire lately, with two straight games of 15 kills or more. Herbert should continue to help the Red Hawks as they try to nail down a playoff spot with four games remaining on their schedule.

Red Hawks’ setter Griffith explained Herbert’s versatile scoring ability.

“She’ll do anything to make sure that she scores,” Griffith said. “She’ll tip, she’ll hit line, she’ll hit deep and hit all the shots that she can [to] manage to get a point.”

Defense seemed to play a big part in this game. The Red Hawks played tough on defense, and Caitlin Lange stepped up with seven blocks.

“Hustle makes good team defense,” Scanzillo said. “It’s about skill but more about effort and hustle and drive to get the ball up.”

Scanzillo led the team with 21 digs and has helped save some crucial points in big games all year long.

Griffith leads the NJAC with about four assists per game. Scanzillo is second in the NJAC with about five digs per game.

Head coach Eddie Stawinski spoke about the team’s leadership and how it impacts their performance.

“Our leaders have done a great job this year,” Stawinski said. “We have some great wins and I think that’s part of our leadership.”

Scanzillo was recognized for her defensive play, as was Majkut with defensive player of the week honors. With four games remaining, good defense will be paramount for the Red Hawks as they look to secure a playoff spot as one of the top six teams in NJAC.

The Red Hawks are next in action away at New York University on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.

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