In 2014, UB Volleyball maintained their MAC Tournament standing through the second half of the year thanks to a flurry of beneficial results from around the conference. In 2015, they're getting the same gifts from the MAC West while surging themselves. Despite a loss tonight, the Bulls head into the final two weekends of the season sitting in a postseason spot without needing a tiebreaker thanks to 0-2 weekends from both Eastern and Central Michigan.
Tonight, UB lost to a Ball State team that has been up and down this season 25-17, 25-20, 25-19. The Cardinals moved to 9-1 at home on the year and easily handled the Bulls on the final game of a two-weekend road swing.
Buffalo had a disastrous first set, notching just four kills against 11 attacking errors, and even after their offense returned to typical efficiency they were unable to slow the Cardinals, who hit .318 in the second set and .212 in the third.
The Bulls actually played Ball State even through the early going of both the first and second sets, but were undone by a five- and four-point run in each. In the third set, the run came earlier, and UB never lead later than 10-9 in any set.
Individually, no one stands out except for maybe Tessa Ooyama's 18 digs. The defense did seem to continue its strong play, tallying nine blocks and 45 digs in the quick three set match. Further evidence of the improving backline can be seen in just two Ball State aces and 105 attacks from the Bulls in just three sets.
Despite those 105 swings, UB only earned 28 kills while accumulating 24 errors. It's an understandable, but forgettable loss after four very strong games over the last few weekends.
Still, four games remain this season, and UB is in good shape for a second straight MAC Tournament berth, since EMU needs to pass the Bulls outright. A home win Friday against bottom-dweller Bowling Green would force the Eagles to win at least three games in their final four to knock the Bulls out, and since Buffalo also currently enjoys the tiebreaker advantage on 5-7 Central Michigan as well, they're actually sitting seventh.
This weekend will be the final homestand of the year for UB. In addition to the Friday match against Bowling Green, the team will celebrate senior night on Saturday before they host Miami.