Bulls Buck Broncos In Five Sets
BUFFALO, NY – The UB women's volleyball team picked up one of its best victories in the program's short Mid-American Conference history as the Bulls defeated MAC West leading Western Michigan, 3-2, Saturday night at Alumni Arena. The win for the Bulls was their first ever against Western Michigan as they improve their record to 13-8 and 4-4 in the MAC.
The Bulls took the match 17-25, 25-17, 25-13, 15-25, 15-12 as UB hit .196 on the night, opposed to .156 for the Broncos. After falling in the first set, UB came back in the second and jumped out to an early 7-4 lead. The Broncos would eventually tie it at 11, but a 7-3 UB run gave the Bulls an 18-14 advantage. From there, UB recorded seven of the last 10 points in the set to go into intermission tied at 1-1.
The Bulls continued their momentum in the third as UB took an early 11-4 lead. The Bulls extended their lead as an 11-5 run gave UB a 22-9 advantage. The Bulls went on to win the set 25-13. However, the Broncos did not go down quietly as WMU hit .387 in the fourth set to force the fifth and deciding set.
The Broncos went on to score the first three points of the set, but just like they have done in the past, the Bulls fought back playing to the final point. Down 4-1, the Bulls staged a 6-1 run to take a 7-5 advantage and forcing WMU to use a timeout. The Broncos would go on to tie it at 7-7 and even retake the lead at 10-9, however UB responded with two straight points and regained the lead at 11-10. With the match tied at 12-12, UB went on to score three straight points, including two straight kills from Kristin Bignell, who recorded the match-winner.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team tonight," said head coach Todd Kress. "To come back after a tough loss last night and fight the way we did is a testament to how these players have grown throughout the year. Western Michigan is a very good team that is well coached and as we build our program, that is a perfect program to emulate and we were very fortunate to knock them off tonight."
Freshman Tori Beckman wasted no time shattering her day-old career digs record as she finished with a match-high 36 digs, the most by a UB player since Rebecca Meade had 33 digs against Youngstown State on Sept. 5, 1999. The Bulls had four players in double figures in kills, led by 17 kills from Dani Silvers. Bignell had 14 kills and just two errors, while Kelsey Lueders had a monster night with 13 kills, two service aces and eight total blocks. Marisa Hornbaker finished with a double-double as she had 12 kills and 18 digs. Sophomore Heather Pyle finished with a career-high 14 digs and Lindsey Schlegel added 10 digs, while recording a career-high 60 assists.
Western Michigan was led by 17 kills from Allyson Doyle and 16
kills from Michelle Moore. Jillian Mitchell had 48 assists and 17
digs, while Doyle added 19 digs.
The Bulls hit the road this weekend as they head to Central Michigan on Friday night and Eastern Michigan on Saturday. Both matches begin at 7:00 pm.