Volleyball has looked stronger lately, but it comes as no surprise that the Bulls fell to 2-4 in the MAC this evening with a three-set loss to Ohio, 25-16, 25-13, 25-12.
The Bobcats, who are now 6-0 in the MAC and have won 30 consecutive MAC regular season matches, ran through the Bulls with ease, never trailing more or later than 3-2 in the second set. Ohio has for a few weeks appeared in the "Also Receiving Votes" portion of the AVCA poll, and certainly looked the part of the unquestioned third-best team on UB's 2015 schedule.
To highlight a specific aspect of Ohio's performance is to only discredit another. This was as complete a win as anyone has gotten over UB this season. The small measure of success I can find for Buffalo is that they managed to keep their hitting percentage positive through all three sets, and held Ohio to .129 hitting in the second set.
The flip side, though, is that the Bobcats tallied eight aces in that second set; six coming on an endless 14-0 run with Jamie Kosiorek serving. Kosiorek would finish with nine aces and the Bobcats with 16 along with their .310 hitting for the match.
UB's .163 hitting wasn't terrible considering the opponent, but the Bulls struggled on defense, frequently looking out of sorts and running ragged simply to return the ball. Their 49 digs matched Ohio's total, but Buffalo also gave points away in serve receipt and didn't help their cause up front with only two blocks.
Offensively, Valisha Watkins had nine kills, but the most noticeable performance was freshman Madison Clark at setter, who not only saw time, but started and played the entire match. Clark tallied 25 assists on UB's 26 kills but did contribute two service and two ball handling errors. I haven't heard of an injury to Marissa Prinzbach, but any time without the senior setter is a damaging blow on top of Amber Hatchett's loss. Kelly Fitzpatrick also saw some time in the rotation.
UB is now 2-4 on the MAC after their first winless weekend in a month. They host Western Michigan and Northern Illinois again at Alumni Arena next weekend.