Bulls Hold On For Five Set Victory At Akron
AKRON, OH - The University at Buffalo volleyball team held a 2-0 lead on Thursday evening, but were forced to go five with the Akron Zips before prevailing 3-2 in the Mid-American Conference Opener for both teams. The victory improves UB's record to 8-6 on the year and 1-0 in the MAC.
The Bulls took the contest 25-19, 25-17, 26-28, 19-25, 15-10 and have now defeated the Zips in three straight meetings, all in Akron. UB outhit Akron .231 to .187, but was hurt by 17 service errors in the match.
The Bulls trailed early in the first set at 10-7, but a 7-2 UB lead gave it a 14-12 advantage. The Bulls would go on to lead by as many as six at 20-14, a margin they would take the set by at 25-19.
Tied at 9-9 in the second set, the Bulls went on a 9-2 run to take an 18-11 lead in the set. UB led by as many as eight in the second set, winning it at 25-17.
The Bulls would go on to take an early lead in the third set, however the Zips tied things up, eventually going on to win the set 28-26. Akron would go on to take a quick lead in the fourth set, leading by as many as eight early on. UB would get it to within three at 19-16, but Akron claimed the set 25-19 to force a fifth and deciding set.
The Zips took the first two points of the set before UB tied it up quickly. From there neither team would lead by more than a point as things were tied up at 9-9. UB took the next two points for the 11-9 lead. The Zips went on to win the next point and pull within 11-10, but the Bulls scored the last four points and take the set 15-10.
"We learned a lot from the win tonight," said head coach Todd Kress. "When we run a balanced offense like we did tonight with five players in double figures in kills, we will give ourselves opportunities to win. We also learned when we are pushed, it is necessary to push back sooner."
Sophomore Dani Reinert recorded a career-high 58 assists as five different players had double figures in kills. Sophomores Dana Musil and Christine Fritsche each had 16 kills, while Abby Niekamp and Alessandra Jovy-Heuser each added 12 kills. Jovy-Heuser notched her 12 kills with just one error on 16 swings for a career-best .688 hitting percentage. Freshman Liz Scott added 11 kills.
Defensively, sophomore Kelly Svoboda had 22 digs, one of four players in double figures in that category. Musil completed the double-double with 15 digs, while Reinert and Scott also had double-doubles with 14 and 11 digs, respectively. Jovy-Heuser added a career-high eight digs as well as six total blocks. Fritsche and Niekamp each added three blocks. As a team, the Bulls had four service aces, including two from Scott. Reinert and Svoboda each added one.
The Bulls are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they host Toledo at 3:00 pm.