Sorry for the slowdown here, folks. Short of a vacation or power outage that takes me away from the internet, Easter weekend is the one time a year when I absolutely can't devote any time whatsoever to Bull Run and UB Athletics.
As a result, I've got to do a roundup post, with apologies to all the teams who should be getting individual pieces. I hate doing these at all, but sometimes it's necessary to catch up. There will also be no podcast this weekend, as I don't have a voice right now.
W vs Toledo, 6-1
UB topped both of their weekend opponents last year, so it was good to see them match that and start 2-0 in the MAC this season as well, but their performance against the Rockets was a strong showing for a group I'm hoping can move out of the middle of the conference.
There were a few tight matches the Bulls won in three sets, but between doubles, #1, #3, and #6 singles, UB took the match on the basis of four barely-contested points alone. As far as I'm concerned, they can win every match 4-3 all the way to a championship if they want.
Of especial note here is Tanja Stojanovska and Dayana Agasieva easily handling Mazzola and Huck from Toledo at ]1 doubles. The Rockets pair were the reigning MAC Doubles Players of the Week
1. Stojanovska/Agasieva (UB) def. Mazzola/Huck (UT), 6-2
2. Kotok/Martinez Blanco (UB) def. Aleck/Bowman (UT), 6-2
3. Holterbosch/Haraldson (UB) vs. Thai/Miller (UT), 5-5 (susp)
1. Stojanovska (UB) def. Mazzola (UT), 6-2, 6-1
2. Huck (UT) def. Martinez Blanco (UB), 6-3, 6-7, 13-11
3. Kotok (UB) def. O'Brien (UT), 6-3, 6-3
4. Holterbosch (UB) def. Miller (UT), 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
5. Losada Rubio (UB) def. Aleck (UT), 5-7, 7-5, 10-4
6. Sudhir (UB) def. Thai (UT), 6-2, 6-0
W at Eastern Michigan, 5-2
Another win, this one on the road, is a big highlight for the Bulls, and it likely wasn't far from being a match of the earlier 6-1 victory. But that difference is a big one, as Margarita Kotok had to retire from her #3 singles match after just a single game. If that's due to injury, UB could be losing an experienced upperclassman from the middle of their lineup for a bit.
Outside of Kotok, Stojanovska had a nice come-from-behind win in three sets to go 2-0 on the weekend. She's probably a good bet for MAC Singles Player of the Week thanks to those two performances. Laura Holterbosch and Sanjana Sudhir also went 2-0 on the weekend.
1. Agasieva/Stojanovska (UB) vs. Supejova/Martinovska (EMU), DNF (5-6)
2. Kotok/Martinez Blanco(UB) def. Gogvadze/Mayerova (EMU), 6-4
3. Holterbosch/Haraldson (UB) def. Veleva/Sharma (EMU), 6-2
1. Stojanovska (UB) def. Supejova (EMU), 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
2. Martinez Blanco (UB) def. Martinovska (EMU), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
3. Gogvadze (EMU) def. Kotok (UB), 0-1 (retired)
4. Holterbosch (UB) def. Veleva (EMU), 6-3, 6-1
5. Mayerova (EMU) def. Losada Rubio (UB), 6-2, 6-2
6. Sudhir (UB) def. Barcelo Almoyna (EMU), 6-2, 7-6 (4)
It's finally rowing season again, as the Bulls got their spring started with the Murphy Cup in Camden, New Jersey.
The Murphy Cup is a relatively large event, with UB competing in fields of anywhere from eight to thirty boats. The Novice 4 was the highlight of the day, taking third overall, while none of Buffalo's other boats finished well enough to advance to the either their respective Grand or Petite Finals (roughly equivalent to the championship and consolation finals in Swimming and Diving).
The Varsity 4 finished right in the middle of the pack, in 15th after the prelims, while the Varsity 8 was 16th, but in a substantially smaller field.
It's getting disconcerting that Softball's best games and moments continue to come when I'm unable to follow, but it's definitely better than not that the Bulls are now sitting on a five-game win streak thanks to a sweep of Toledo last weekend.
W vs (at) Toledo, 1-0, 2-1, 6-3
The first two scores especially will draw your eye, but even the 6-3 finale isn't a scoreline we saw very much of last year. On the weekend the Bulls did a good job of minimizing errors and turning hits into runs (though they did need 12 baserunners in the opener to get the winning score home).
The story, though, is the pitching, which is hopefully settling in at just the right time. Charlotte Miller and Brieanna Baker continued their strong play from the circle lately in the first two games, each going the distance in pitcher's duels. In the third game, Miller again got the start and avoided too much damage before being pulled for Lace Smith, who got out of a first-and-third jam in the second inning and pitched well enough in long relief to earn the win.
The offensive numbers are a bit down from some of the outputs we've seen lately, but it's all good in wins. Savanna Norcio is now riding a 14-game hit streak, saving her best of the series for last, while #2 hitter Ashton Earnhardt was also 2-3 with a pair of runs in the 6-3 win.
Deeper in the order, Sarah Edwards continued her strong season at the plate going 5-10 on the weekend. She's now above .300 on the year and has the team's third-highest slugging percentage.