Volleyball finally made their way to Alumni Arena, and despite a large crowd and their best attacking night of the year, the Bulls fell 3-1 to Akron in their MAC opener.
Only the first set was particularly close, with UB falling 25-23. Buffalo fell down 4-0 early and played from behind for the entire set, but pulled with 24-23 before the Zips scored the clinching point. Senior Megan Lipski set the tone for UB's offensive success with a stunning ten kills in the set, while Valisha Watkins and Cassie Shado each added three.
A 10-2 run midway through the second set led to 25-16 and pulled the Bulls back 1-1, and at the time it seemed Buffalo was ready to play the Zips tough. Unfortunately the visitors came out of the break and took the third and fourth sets easily, 25-15 and 25-16.
I was only intermittently able to follow the games tonight, so I'll save the Xs and Os talk, but by several measures it seems UB had a strong game: Lipski (19), Watkins (13), and Cassie Shado (11) combined for 43 kills - Shado on no errors, even - and saw a season high in hitting percentage. 52 assists (44 from Marissa Prinzbach), four aces, and 48 digs were all among UB's best marks on the year.
But Buffalo also allowed Akron to hit nearly .400 (led by our pregame player to watch Amanda Bedell, who had 17 kills), had only six blocks, and surrendered a whopping ten aces.
That's some good somethings to build on, there, but also a clear set of issues, pretty much the same we've seen for the first month. UB stays at home this weekend with a match against Toledo this Saturday at 7:30. Admission is free with a football ticket after the Nevada game.