UB fans woke up this morning having not seen a loss in any sport to Niagara in 489 days, but go to bed tonight looking to Men’s Soccer to start a new streak Thursday over the regional little sibling after UB Volleyball fell in Lewiston in four sets, 19-25, 16-25, 25-23, 20-25.
It was our first chance to see a stream of the Bulls outside of work hours, and the video didn’t necessarily show much that we didn’t know, in part because some of Buffalo’s struggles have been so fundamental. When UB passes well, not drawing setter Scout McLerran too close or too far for the net, the offense flowed well. The Bulls are able to string together runs, but are susceptible themselves to longer point streaks against, no matter the opponent.
The Bulls did bounce back nicely after the break, before which they had dropped a pair of sets in progressively less competitive fashion, but even in the third set, their strongest of the night, they made it more competitive than it needed to be when Niagara whiled away a 20-13 deficit to narrowly drop the frame 23-25. The fourth turned sour midway through when a back-and-forth battle became a 16-14 Niagara lead, and the Bulls couldn’t respond.
The loss drops UB to 0-10 and the win only the second of the year for the Purple Eagles.
Cassie Shado was excellent for the Bulls, totaling 12 kills on no errors. Both she and Amber Hatchett (7 kills) put together perhaps their best showings of the season for UB, but Valisha Watkins barely hit in the positive, with 9 kills to 8 errors and UB as a team surrendered ten aces to the Purple Eagles.
UB will finish up nonconference play this coming weekend with a tournament in Pennsylvania hosted by Bucknell. We’ll run a preview on Friday with more on the Bison and other teams in action.