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Olympic Roundup: A Strong Start for Volleyball

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Courtesy of UB Athletics

Not everyone is up and running yet in the new year, of course, but the season doesn’t start with football. You know this by now.

Volleyball

If I’ve learned anything from 4-5 years of following Volleyball at this point, it’s that it’s perhaps the toughest sport of UB’s offerings to get a sense of MAC success from nonconference results. They were picked to finish third in the East Division, for what it’s worth. We can’t argue, regardless, with a 3-0 start, which is a good look, and to win UB’s own tournament, as well, which is additionally a good luck.

The Bulls dropped only two sets on the weekend, one each to Seton Hall and North Dakota State after an opening sweep of Niagara. Junior Scout McLerran and sophomore Andrea Mitrovic led UB with 134 assists and 42 kills on the weekend, respectively, and each received All-MAC East recognition as a result. Mitrovic’s accolade is particularly impressive as the Mississauga native did not play against Niagara but stepped right into her All-MAC Freshman team form of a year ago.

UB stays in state this weekend, heading to Cornell to face the Big Red, St. John’s, and Siena.

Women’s Soccer

Not as pristine a start for Women’s Soccer, but they do hit the second weekend of the year with a win at their backs after a 3-0 coast over Youngstown State. UB had fallen 3-1 to St. John’s in the opener.

The win over the Penguins saw the Bulls take over in the second half, when they registered 10 of their 14 shots on the night and scored thrice in 21 minutes. Scoring came from largely unsurprising names: Carissima Cutrona had a pair of assists, and Marcy Barberic another, while Gianna Yurchak and Kaitlyn Walsh each scored to start quick after freshman seasons in which each appeared in every game. The opener and game-winner came from Gurjeena Jandu, who established herself last year as a set-piece specialist beyond her defensive acumen, on a free kick in the 67th minute.

In the opening loss to St. John’s, Walsh scored the lone goal to erase an early deficit, but UB was again down 3-1 by 30 minutes and was unable to claw back in the last hour.

It’s Cornell and Albany, both on the road, this weekend for Women’s Soccer.

I don’t have my aggregating system running like I once did, but UB lost a commit to Pitt over the weekend.

Cross Country

UB starts their season at Toledo’s invitational this weekend. It’s the pair of meets in Pennsylvania later in the season that will be more predictive for the MAC Championships, but XC and Track and Field so rarely compete against MAC foes outside of conference championships, and Toledo is a historical strength on the women’s side, that I’ll be glad to see results from this one.

NKU Norse Men’s Soccer

Stu Riddle’s team has opened the season with a pair of 3-2 wins over teams I really like to see lose in Bowling Green and Canisius. The opener was largely in hand until the 85th minute, when NKU extended their lead to 3-0, only for the Falcons to score twice in 90 seconds, while the win over the Golden Griffins was nominally come-from-behind, but in reality the Norse only trailed for a minute before equalizing and later pulling ahead.

Former UB standout Rikard Lindqvist assisted on the first goal against BGSU, but Alex Willis and Alex Grieve seem to be the focal point of the offense based on the first week, at least. Onetime friend Hunter Walsh did score for Canisius in that game.