Suddenly, UB Volleyball's looking pretty good. Never before in 16 years as a member of the MAC had Buffalo swept a road weekend. With a second consecutive five-set victory today in Mount Pleasant, the Bulls capped off a program first and move to 4-6 in the MAC.
UB was also 4-6 through their EMU/CMU weekend last season, and slid to 4-10 while maintaining an weakening hold on a postseason berth before closing the regular season with a pair of wins. The Bulls won't manage a third consecutive winning season, but are trending in the right direction with a chance to earn a top-eight seed in the MAC for the second consecutive year and second time in program history.
All we know about the match right now is the scores of the five sets: 20-25, 25-22, 30-28, 18-25, 15-13 (maybe). I'm without livestats or a boxscore right now*, but am eager to get this post up before UB gets theirs, so I'll update this post with more insight once I have something to go on.
*Seriously, CMU, why are you consistently the worst at this?
We've got a box score, and on first glance it's hard to see how UB won this game. They were outhit in three of five sets, and hit only .067 in a victorious third set. Central Michigan had more kills, a better hitting percentage, and scored more points, 113 to 108.
On second glance, both teams had a heck of a day at the net. Buffalo had 18 blocks, and CMU 14. Cassie Shado continues to dominate, as she had 15 kills and *13* blocks, including three solos. That's two matches in a row she's hit double digits, and she was one of four Bulls with double-digit kills, though the only to hti with any efficiency.
Madison Clark once again played the whole match for UB in place of Marissa Prinzbach. She added ten digs and two solo blocks to her 47 assists. Tessa Ooyama led UB with 22 digs.
Buffalo did match CMU in the service game, as both teams tallied five aces. Considering the length of the match and UB's grueling match yesterday, that's pretty good.
The play by play data doesn't show anything super stunning: UB slowly let the first set get away from them and started to pull away midway through in the second. They won the marathon third set only after erasing an early 0-6 deficit, squandering 19-14 and 21-17 leads, and fending off two CMU set points. The Chippewas had a 6-0 run late in the fourth to force a fifth set, and in the decisive frame Buffalo was generally ahead, though CMU fought to ties at 6-6 and 13-13 before the visitors could end the match.
In the meantime, feel good that a young team has gritted out a pair of five-set wins and looks to be clicking at an important time right now.
In the race for a MAC Tournament spot, Buffalo is tied for eighth with EMU at 4-6, and one game behind Ball State and CMU (5-5). The Bulls stay on the road this coming weekend with a rematch against Akron and a contest against Ball State. The Zips beat Eastern Michigan today for their second MAC win, while Ball State looks better than their record suggests and swept Bowling Green.