Bulls Drop Five-Set Battle With Bowling Green
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo volleyball team was unable to hold on to a 2-1 lead, dropping the final two sets, and the match, to Bowling Green on Saturday evening. The loss was UB's first at home this year and drops its record to 13-5 and 1-1 in the MAC.
The Falcons took the contest, 25-18, 16-25, 19-25, 25-22, 17-15 despite the Bulls outhitting BG, .207 to .126. Bowling Green jumped on UB early in the first set using an 8-2 run and taking a 21-16 lead in the set on its way to a 25-18 victory.
The Bulls bounced right back in the second set as they went on a 7-2 run, taking a 12-12 tie and turning it into a 19-14 advantage. Up 19-16, UB won the final six points of the set to tie the match up at 1-1. The third set also belonged to the Bulls despite Bowling Green recording the first four points. UB quickly tied it up at 5-5 before Bowling Green jumped back ahead at 10-9. UB used an 11-4 run from there to go up 20-14 and hung on for the 25-19 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Bulls led for much of the fourth set taking a 16-12 advantage, but the Falcons quickly tied it up at 17-17. BG used a 5-2 run to go up 22-19 and won the set 25-22. The Falcons rode that momentum into the fifth and deciding set where they opened with a 9-3 run. The Bulls responded with three straight points to make it 9-6 and eventually fought all the way back to tie the set at 13-13. The two teams then traded back and forth opportunities to win the match, first Bowling Green and then UB. However, tied 15-15, the Falcons recorded two straight service aces to win the set and the match.
"We had too many errors and we came out too flat in set one tonight," said head coach Todd Kress. "The way we took the court tonight was completely different than last night and that is inexcusable. We rebounded to control play in the second and third set and even most of the fourth, but they found a way to come back and then we looked extremely flat again in the fifth with the match on the line."
The Bulls were led by Marisa Hornbaker, who had a season-high 19 kills on 52 attempts. Hornbaker also added 10 digs and two aces. Freshman Dana Musil had a career-high 15 kills and completed the double-double with a career-best 15 digs. Senior Kayla Govier and junior Abby Niekamp each added 11 kills, while senior Kristin Bignell had eight. Schlegel had 49 assists and 14 digs, while adding two kills.
Junior Heather Pyle led the way defensively with 19 digs, while freshman Kelly Svoboda added 13. Both Pyle and Svoboda each contributed with an ace, while Pyle also had five assists. Bignell had nine total blocks, including three solos, while Musil added four blocks and Schlegel added three. Hornbaker and Niekamp each had two.
The Bulls hit the road next weekend as they continue MAC play. UB faces Kent State on Friday night and then travels to defending MAC Champion, Ohio, on Saturday night.