BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo volleyball team began its 2012 campaign on Friday, splitting its two matches on the opening day of the UB Invitational. The Bulls defeated Canisius in their opener, 3-1, before falling to San Jose St. in the nightcap by the same score. For Buffalo, today's action was the first for its six-member freshman class.
In the first match against Canisius, the Bulls took the contest 23-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-18 as UB outhit its opponents, .209 to .107. After trailing 7-2 early in set number two, the Bulls went on a 16-6 run, taking an 18-13 advantage following a kill from junior Dani Reinert. The Griffs pulled back within four before UB clinched the set on a block from Liz Scott and freshman Akeila Lain.
It was the Bulls who got out to the early lead in set three, taking 10 of the first 15 points, capped off on an ace from freshman Megan Lipski. Again Canisius came back pulling to within one at 17-16, but Buffalo responded with four straight points to go up 21-16. Following a UB attack error, the Bulls strung together four more points for the set. The fourth set was also owned by Buffalo as it got out to a 21-12 advantage before taking it 25-18.
Scott tied her career-high with 20 kills in the victory, hitting .375 for the match. The preseason All-MAC selection, added nine digs and five block assists in the contest. Lipski added 10 kills, six digs and a match-high four service aces in her debut, while Lain had eight kills and six blocks. Tahleia Bishop added seven kills and seven digs. Reinert ran the offense with 46 assists and 14 digs, while junior Dana Musil, filling in at libero, had 24 digs.
In the evening contest, the Spartans defeated the Bulls, 25-22, 25-22, 15-25, 25-20 as they outhit Buffalo .184 to .126. Each of the first two sets were close, including the first, which was tied up 19-19 late. However, San Jose St. scored three quick points and held on for the 25-22 win. The Bulls led 16-12 in the second set, but fell behind after five straight Spartan points. The set was tied up at 19-19 and again SJSU answered with three straight points and took the set by the identical score as the first set.
The Bulls dominated the third, building an early 7-2 lead. UB increased its lead to 19-11 and led by as many as 11 at 24-13 following a kill from Scott. Unfortunately, UB was unable to ride the momentum from the set victory as it fell 25-20 in the fourth set.
Bishop, Lipski and Scott each finished with 10 kills against the Spartans, while junior Carissa McKenna had nine kills and just two errors, hitting a team-high .389. Musil had another outstanding match defensively, recording a career-high 26 digs, finishing with 50 for the day.
Other matches on the first day of the UB Invitational saw Oral Roberts defeat San Jose St., 3-1, and Canisius, 3-0. Canisius and San Jose St. will meet tomorrow at 2:30 pm, while Buffalo and Oral Roberts conclude the tournament at 5:00pm.