LEWISTON, NY – The University at Buffalo volleyball team overcame a first set defeat to come back and beat Niagara on Wednesday night, 3-2. The victory was UB's third of the season through four matches.
The Bulls got a monster match from freshman Dana Musil, who had a career high 16 kills, while adding 14 digs and a match-high five service aces.
The Purple Eagles, who are the defending MAAC Champions, took the first set, 25-20, but the Bulls stormed back and had their most dominant set in the second, winning 25-12. Tied 10-10 in the second set, the Bulls ended the set by scoring 15 of the final 17 points. The Bulls used solid serving from Musil, Kelly Svoboda and senior Lindsey Schlegel.
UB went up 2-1 in the match with a victory in the third using a late run to clinch the set. Up 20-19, the Bulls ended the set on a 5-1 run to take the lead in the match. Niagara led for much of the fourth set before the Bulls fought back trying to end the match. Down 24-21 and just one point away from set point, the Bulls staged a comeback thanks to the serving of Marisa Hornbaker, helping the Bulls to four straight points. The Bulls had two match points in the fourth set, but the Purple Eagles came back to take the set, 28-26.
The Bulls dominated the fifth and deciding set on their way to the victory. UB stormed out to a 5-1 lead in the set and never looked back. UB led late 14-10, when Niagara scored two straight points, but a service error from the Purple Eagles ended the match in UB's favor.
Joining Musil in double-figure kills was junior Abby Niekamp, who had 13 kills and hit .381 on the night. Senior Kristin Bignell had nine kills and just one error on 22 swings. Hornbaker finished with eight kills in her first action of the season.
Svoboda led the way defensively with a match-high 24 digs, while Schlegel had seven digs and a match-high 44 assists.
Tonight's match will air on tape delay on LCTV on Thursday at 3am and 7pm, Saturday at 1am and 7am and on Sunday at 9:30 pm.
The Bulls return to action with their home opener this Friday as they host the University at Buffalo Invitational. UB gets things started at 11:00 am when it hosts Navy. The tournament will also include Central Connecticut St. and Delaware St.