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Siena Volleyball: Sweep Home Series and Emily Wunder’s Veteran Impact on the Team

On Sept. 25 and 26, the Siena Volleyball team picked up the first two wins of the season a 3 – 2 victory over Iona and a 3 – 0 sweep of Manhattan. In the first game of the weekend—with a win over Iona—Maddy Dunigan began her great weekend by leading the team in kills, she had 15. Meghan Johnson had a great game with 45 assists. Greta Stjade doubled up on the stat sheet with 10 kills and 12 digs. Olga Sawinska and Emily Wunder also had double-digit kills.

In the win over Manhattan, Dunigan led the team in kills. The defensive duo of Gracie Halley and Grace Wilhelm with the help of Stjade replicated a Spartan formation—impenetrable by the opposing team. They combined for 42 digs shutting down the offensive output of Manhattan. Saints setter, Johnson, channeled the great playmaking ability of Giannis, leading the team with 31 assists.

When asked about the Saints performance, Emily Wunder said: “I think for the games we played well together as a team, and we focused on the things that we were working on in practice, so we were able to take advantage of those.”

Wunder, a graduate transfer from Winthrop  University in South Carolina at Winthrop, won a Conference Championship before coming to Siena. She believes she can use her experience to lead Siena’s young group of players to a deep postseason or potentially a championship win. “I wasn’t a captain at Winthrop when we won our conference Championship, but my captains were really good leaders. I think I learned from them and I’m taking what I learned from them and using it here at Siena,” Wunder said regarding her experience as an undergrad.

Wunder has also become good friends with her recent linemate, Shannon Dunkin. “We became good friends before the season, and so I think that our chemistry outside of the court has helped with our chemistry when it comes to playing games and being at practice,” she said. “All of our freshmen, they really have a lot of good talent, but they don’t exactly know how to use their talents, so I think having a veteran come in who has a different perspective is going to help us get better.” The sky is the limit for the Saints even despite the team’s pre-season struggles. Wunder believes that the preseason helped prepare them to take on other teams in the conference! She said, “We have a little bit of confidence from this weekend. I think we’re just going to keep working hard and working on things and practice. I think we have a chance of actually winning in the postseason tournament and getting a chance at making it to the NCAAs.”

Overall, the volleyball team had a successful weekend, winning both their games. After beating Saint Peter’s and losing to Rider each in 4 sets on the road trip, the Saints are playing at home again this weekend!

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