Break out the apple cider, pumpkin pies, and tastiest beer of the year, because it's October.
Note: Feel free to switch some of the above and put apples in your pies instead of pumpkin. I cannot, however, endorse apple or pumpkin in your beer. That's disgusting. No fruit in beer.
Anyway, fully five UB teams are in action this weekend, though it's feels like a slower weekend overall because only women's soccer is home. For a look back at last weekend, follow this link to catch up, and perhaps to bask in the glory of women's soccer and volleyball. Moving on, this is This Week in Bull
I'll start with Volleyball, because they currently own UB's longest winning streak. The ladies, after a strong opening weekend against Bowling Green and Miami will travel into Ohio this weekend to take on the Ohio Bobcats in Athens on Friday and then Kent State in Kent on Saturday. Ohio is a perennial power in the MAC and will be a great measuring stick for the Bulls, who could improve on their best-ever start to a MAC season.
From a statistical perspective, UB moves from facing the top two hitters in the MAC in their contest against Miami to the conference #3 and #7 in that stat in Ohio's Abby Gilleland and Karin Bull. Gilleland is also #3 in the MAC in assists/set, while Bull sits just behind UB's Akeila Lane in blocks/set. Kent State has fewer individual student-athletes in the conference rankings, but is the MAC's top blocking team.
Both matches are at 7:00 PM will have video streams available. Presumably these will be through the home teams' websites, but links are available on UBBulls.com. I will strive to have real-time coverage and a writeup of the Saturday game against Kent State.
Women's Soccer after a victorious weekend on the road comes home to a pair of games at UB Stadium. On Friday they'll take on Bowling Green, and on Sunday they will face off against Eastern Michigan. Like volleyball, women's soccer is enjoying one of their best seasons in program history, and looks to keep things rolling.
Bowling Green is... not a very good soccer team. Their offensive numbers are similar to UB's, scoring just a little over one goal per game, but the Falcons are at the bottom of the conference in pretty much every defensive stat, having given up an incredible 23 goals in just nine games, while also making the most saves and earning the fewest corners.
Basically, the Falcons do not possess the ball very well and don't do a good job of taking it away, while also leading the MAC in offsides, which suggests they too often default to long balls on offense. UB's back-to-front skill should control the ball throughout, and I wouldn't be surprised to see UB's most lopsided win of the season in this one.
Eastern Michigan on Sunday should be a much tougher test. The Eagles are the conference's top team in most rankings, and match up pretty similarly to UB's stellar defensive numbers, while sporting a high-scoring offense. Like volleyball's matchup against Ohio, this game will help us divine just where the Bulls stack up relative to the best of the MAC.
Both games will be streamed on UBBulls.com, but you could also come to UB Stadium and enjoy both. Friday night against Bowling Green will kick off at 7:00 PM, while Sunday things will get going against Eastern Michigan at Noon. I'll be live with Twitter coverage and later write ups of both games.
The other UB teams in action this weekend are of the harder-to-cover variety.
Men's Tennis heads for the third straight competition to an Ivy League campus for the Brown Invitational. I wish I had more to tell you but Brown's Athletics website is a joke and I can barely find confirmation anywhere else on the internet that the tournament is even happening. This frustrates me.
Cross Country gets back in action after a week off, heading to Lehigh for the Paul Short Invitational. This meet is one of the largest in the country and will have Open, Collegiate, and High School divisions. There are three tiers within the Collegiate entrants, so I'm not sure when UB's teams will step to the line, but both will race between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM
We'll also get our first look at the winter season: Swimming and Diving gets the season going on Saturday. They'll host the WNY Invite at Alumni Arena over two sessions on the day. While it's unclear who will show up in terms of competition, it will be good to see how the Bulls stack up after a number of seniors headed to the great Natatorium in the Sky after last year.
Finally, Rowing heads to their first official competition after a scrimmage against D'Youville and Canisius last weekend. UB boats will compete at 9:44 AM (Women's Open 4), 10:33 AM (three boats in the Women's Open 8+), and at 10:53 AM (two boars in the Women's Novice 8+).
Good luck to all Bulls this weekend!