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Malik Scores 19 in Loss to Akron

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Sophomore outside hitter Milla Malik
ubbulls.com

UB Volleyball lost in four sets to Akron, as the Bulls struggled at times to generate a consistent offense, and also struggled at times to return serve. Buffalo is now 9–10 on the season and 2–6 in the MAC. #One4Mon

Sophomore outside hitter Milla Malik led the team with 19 points (18 kills and 2 block assists). Sophomore right side Emma Geilas had 14 points (12 kills and 4 block assists). And other than that, Buffalo’s attackers were relatively ineffective. Buffalo’s two middle blockers, junior Courtney Okwara and sophomore Olivia DeBortoli combined for just 9 kills and Buffalo’s other outside hitter, freshman Maria Futey, only managed 7 kills.

Buffalo hit 0.000 in the first set, and wound up losing 25–17. In the second set, the only set Buffalo won, the Bulls hit 0.162 but held Akron to 0.135. Buffalo trailed 18–17 but then ran off 7 straight points to break the set wide open. Malik had back to back kills, but the other five points in the streak were Akron errors.

In the third set, Buffalo fell behind 6–0, and although they would close the Akron lead to 3 at times, they never got any closer and wound up losing the set by 8. In the fourth set, Buffalo took a 14–12 lead as the Bulls got three kills each from Gielas, Malik and Okwara. But at 15–15, Akron ran off five straight points to break the set wide open, including four consecutive aces from Akron setter Emily Weigand. The first ace victimized Buffalo junior libero Jenna Sonnenberg, and the next two aces victimized Futey. Buffalo coach Scott Smith replaced Futey with freshman Hannah Jacoby, and then Weigand served an ace off Jacoby.

Buffalo actually hit over 0.400 with just one attack error in the fourth set, but five Akron aces and other poor serve receptions and errors sealed the Bulls fate.

Akron outside hitter Alexis Adleta, now a graduate student, and the reigning MAC East Offensive Player of the Week, torched the Bulls for 20 kills and 4 aces, while she had only two attack errors. Over her five years at Akron, Adleta has always scored very well against Buffalo, picking up a zillion and 12 kills (that’s an unofficial number).

Akron would finish with 10 aces, while Buffalo picked up only three.

DeBortoli led the team with 6 blocks, Gielas had 4, and Okwara and Malik had 2. Freshman setter Mandy Leigh had 41 assists and 2 aces. Sonnenberg led the team with 13 digs, while Malik had 12, Futey had 11 and Leigh had 10.

Buffalo will face Ohio twice at Alumni Arena over the weekend. The first match is at 6pm on Friday, October 15, while the second match is on Saturday, October 16 at 4pm.

Notes:

  • While Buffalo had 2 seniors and 2 juniors in the lineup, Akron used 3 grad students, 3 seniors and two juniors in their rotation.
  • Buffalo finished with a 0.171 hitting percentage, while Akron hit 0.224.
  • For the first time all season, the public address announcer read an announcement about Monika Šimkova.
  • Akron junior defensive specialist Lauren Latka is so popular in the Akron area that I’m told a restaurant named a potato pancake after her. It’s called “The Lauren”.