Bulls Storm Past St. Johns, 3-0
ITHACA, NY – The University at Buffalo volleyball team got off to a hot start at the Cornell Invitational, defeating St. John's, 3-0, Friday afternoon at Newman Arena. The victory for UB was its seventh of the season, surpassing its win total from last year. It was UB's first victory over a Big East team since 2007 when it defeated South Florida, 3-2.
UB took the match 25-16, 25-20, 25-20 as the Bulls outhit St. John's .234 to .078. The Bulls got off to a quick start against the Red Storm as UB scored 10 of the first 13 points in the set, forcing St. John's to take its first time out. The Bulls went on to complete an impressive opening set with a 25-16 victory.
The Bulls increased their lead to two sets after fighting back from an early deficit in set two, taking it 25-20. The Bulls never trailed in the third set, but there were seven ties before the Bulls pulled away for the victory.
"I thought we took a huge step forward today after rebounding from a heartbreaking loss on Tuesday," said head coach Todd Kress. "We did a fantastic job executing our game plan and I thought we served well and had outstanding net play. Kristin [Bignell] did a great job for us on the right side and anytime you can play away from home and defeat a Big East team in three sets, its a very good victory. We have to make sure we keep up this intensity as we know we have two more tough matches tomorrow."
UB was led by 10 kills from Dani Silvers and seven kills from Marisa Hornbaker. Redshirt junior Kelsey Lueders added six kills and three blocks, while juniorKristin Bignell had five kills and six total blocks. Sophomore Abby Niekamp led the way with a career-best seven total blocks, while adding three kills.
Freshman Tori Beckman recorded a match-high 16 digs, while juniorLindsey Schlegel had 31 assists, three blocks, two kills and added to her league-leading service ace total with four more in the contest.
UB continues play at the Cornell Invitational on Saturday as the Bulls face Colgate at 1:00 pm before finishing with the host Big Red at 7:00 pm. Colgate defeated Cornell 3-1 in Friday night's action.