BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo volleyball team set up a Saturday evening championship match by defeating Cornell, 3-1, Saturday morning at Alumni Arena. The victory was UB's third straight over an opponent from New York and improves its record to 7-5.
The Bulls took the match 25-20, 21-25, 25-16, 26-24 as they outhit Cornell, .216 to .131. For the second straight match, UB had a balanced offense with four players in double figures in kills.
The Bulls stormed out to a 5-0 lead in the opening set, but Cornell came back to tie things up. With the set tied at 13-13, UB went on a 6-0 run, including two service aces from sophomore Christine Fritsche. Cornell would pull within four at 24-20, but a kill from senior Abby Niekamp gave the Bulls the set.
The Big Red would go on to take the second set, 25-21, but UB came back after the break to post a 25-16 win in set three. UB scored the first six points of the set and led by as many as 10 at 13-3. Cornell would pull as close as five at 17-12, but the Bulls scored eight of the final 12 points to take the set.
Buffalo scored the first four points of the fourth set, but Cornell kept it close, tying things up at 6-6. The Bulls led by three on numerous occasions in the set, but Cornell tied things up again at 19-19. UB was unable to convert on its first set point as Cornell tied things up at 24-24, but UB responded with a kill from Niekamp and closed things out on a service ace from freshman Liz Scott.
Fritsche and fellow sophomore Dana Musil shared match-high honors in kills with 15 as both players completed double-doubles with 10 digs. Niekamp finished with 13 kills as she hit .476 in the contest, while Scott added 12 kills. Sophomore Dani Reinert ran the offense with 53 assists, adding two service aces and six digs. As a team UB finished with 10 aces as Kelly Svoboda had four and Fritsche added three.
Svoboda notched her fourth straight 20-dig match as she had 23 in the contest. Freshman Alessandra Jovy-Heuser added a career-high six digs as well. Scott had a match-high six blocks, while Niekamp added four and Carissa McKenna recorded three.
The Bulls will return to action tonight as they face Dayton for the Blue and White Classic Championship. Dayton defeated Syracuse, 3-0, Saturday morning. The match against the Flyers will begin at 7:30 pm. Prior to that Syracuse and Cornell will meet at 5:00 pm.