At the Old Dominion “Quest for the Crown” volleyball tournament, Buffalo came away with two victories in three matches. The Bulls defeated Norfolk State and Radford, and lost to the host team, each in 4 sets, to make Buffalo’s final non-conference record 7–5. #One4Mon
The Bulls were led on offense by sophomore outside hitter Milla Malik who picked up 52 kills across the three matches, including 22 against Norfolk State. Sophomore right side Emma Gielas wasn’t far behind, with 46 kills, and hitting over 0.300 in each match. Buffalo hit over 0.300 against both Old Dominion and Radford, the first time they have hit over 0.300 in back-to-back matches.
Defensively, a trend over the last two weeks, the Bulls back row defense has been very stingy, and the Bulls picked up more digs than each of their three opponents, including 80 against Norfolk State and 63 against Radford. Freshman outside hitter Maria Futey had 46 digs across the three matches, including her career high 19 against Norfolk State; while freshman setter Mandy Leigh and freshman libero Hannah Jacoby each had 41 digs, the 16 by Leigh against Norfolk State her career high. (In case you didn’t catch that, those are all three of Buffalo’s freshman, picking up huge amount of digs.)
Sophomore middle blocker Olivia DeBortoli and junior middle blocker Courtney Okwara both had 7 blocks over the three matches.
Leigh picked up her career high of 58 assists against Radford, a huge number in a four set match; and 151 across the three matches. That’s 12.6 assists per set, another huge number.
- Gielas and Okwara were named to the All-Tournament team.
- Play of the Match™: a Buffalo attack ricocheted off of three scrambling Old Dominion defenders but managed to clear the net. DeBortoli saw that the Old Dominion back court was way out of position, and on the first contact, DeBortoli pushed the ball deep into the back left corner of the Old Dominion side, where no one could get it, for a kill. Not to be outdone, Leigh also pulled of the same feat in the fourth set against Old Dominion.
- Former UB assistant coach Adam McLamb now is an assistant at Old Dominion. McLamb spent four years at UB under head coach Blair Brown Lipsitz. He returned to UB for one match the next year, to escort Buffalo’s Polina Prokudina onto the court on Senior Night (Prokudina’s parent were in Russia and couldn’t attend, so McLamb stepped in).
- Junior middle blocker Abby Leigh was unavailable for action because of an injury.
- Buffalo begins their MAC schedule on Friday, September 24 at 6pm and then Saturday, September 25 at 4pm, against Miami (OH) at Alumni Arena.