For the fourth time this season and second consecutive match, UB Volleyball forced a fifth set this evening against Western Michigan. Unfortunately, it was also the third time UB had allowed a two-set comeback after winning the opening sets. Thanks to senior Megan Lipski, the Bulls took the fifth set and the match, 26-24, 25-16, 24-26, 18-25, 15-13.
After taking a narrow first set and a more comfortable second, Buffalo looked in good shape against the Eagles, who are now 4-5 in the MAC. Eastern was at the time hitting below .100 and Megan Lipski and Cassie Shado were nearly unstoppable for the Bulls.
UB used a late service run from freshman Abby Beecher to pull to 24-24 in a back-and-forth third set out of the break, but couldn't get another point and it was EMU's turn to take a narrow and a comfortable set. While the Eagles' poor hitting continued, UB's dropped as well.
The fifth seemed more of the same before Lipski sparked a service run that pulled the Bulls ahead 10-7, even bridging an EMU timeout. UB held that lead to match point at 14-11, but was forced to call timeout after consecutive Eagle points made it 14-13.
Lipski slammed home the next opportunity to end the match and cap off a powerful fifth set in which she tallied five kills to her service run in that frame. She finished with 20, while Valisha Watkins and Shado added 15 and 12, respectively. Lipski also contributed 27 digs and Shado an amazing 10 blocks in the marathon win. Lipski is just the ninth Bull in program history to register 20 kills and 20 digs in a single match.
Marissa Prinzbach returned to the lineup for this match, and racked up 39 assists working into the fourth set, but left the game early, yielding to Madison Clark, who finished with 13.
It should be clear now that Buffalo is better than their record suggests. Four freshmen saw significant time in this match, and for the third straight showing UB has gone toe to toe with a MAC West team boasting a superior record. UB's Saturday opponent, Central Michigan, beat Akron 3-1 this evening.