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Volleyball Swept Twice by Kent State

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ubbulls.com

The UB Volleyball team could not produce any consistent offense, and they lost twice to Kent State in sweeps, and did not score 20 points in any set. Buffalo is now 0–6 on the season, and has not yet won a set.

In the first match on Thursday night, Buffalo could only attack at a 0.140 pace for the game, while Kent hit 0.329. Buffalo’s passing was generally weak, and this led to the offensive struggles. The Bulls did far somewhat better in the second set, as they hit 0.296, but unfortunately Kent hit over 0.500. Buffalo serving also was weak — they didn’t have an ace and didn’t stress Kent State’s passers — and Kent State’s offense was in system most of the night.

The Bulls were led by freshman right side Emma Gielas who picked up 9 kills and 10 points, the only double-digit scorer for the Bulls. Gielas is also the leading scorer for the season. Sophomore middle blocker Courtney Okwara (pictured above), sophomore outside hitter Abby Leigh and junior right side Monika Šimkova all had 6 kills. Okwara led the team with 4 blocks, while freshman middle blocker Olivia DeBortoli had 3. DeBortoli is a 6–2 redshirt freshman, who was named First-Team All-New York in her senior year in high school.

In the second match, on Friday night, the Bulls offense again struggled, hitting just 0.092 as the passing and serve receive was weak. The Bulls fell behind 21–9 in the second set, and then things turned somewhat, as suddenly, it was Buffalo’s passing that worked well, and Kent State struggled with the Buffalo serves. The Bulls went on a 10–3 run, their best stretch of volleyball in the series, but it wasn’t enough. In the third set, Buffalo continued to play reasonably well and stayed even with Kent State until 14–14, when Kent pulled away to take the match.

Leigh and freshman outside hitter Stacia Gollogly led the team with 9 kills each. Gollogly, after a poor start, looked quite sharp later in the match when she picked up most of her kills. DeBortoli’s five blocks in the Friday match are the season best for any UB player in a match, and her two solo blocks in this match are more than any UB player has totaled all season. Okwara added two blocks, and she leads the team in blocking so far this year.

Notes:

  • The Bulls used the two-setter offense in both matches, after experimenting with a one-setter offense the week before.
  • Junior setter Kyndal Bacon has five kills already, with her very effective maneuver of just setting the ball over the net where there are no defenders. She also took a full swing at a ball in an earlier match, which is really somewhat rare in recent UB volleyball history.
  • Buffalo’s next matches are at Ohio on Thursday, February 11 at 6pm and Friday, February 12 at 2 pm. Both matches are on ESPN+.