The UB Volleyball team was swept twice at Western Michigan this weekend. Their record is now 8–6 (0–2 MAC).
In the first match, Buffalo was able to get strong offensive performances from their middle blockers. Senior middle blocker Abby Leigh led the team with 11 kills, and did not make an error, hitting 0.733. Senior middle blocker Courtney Okwara had eight kills and 1 error, hitting 0.583. But unfortunately, none of the other UB front row attackers hit above 0.150. The Bulls didn’t help themselves by picking up 13 service errors but just 4 aces.
Sophomore setter Mandy Leigh had 31 assists, and moved into 10th place all-time in assists. Abby Leigh led the team with 5 blocks, while Mandy Leigh had 4 and Okwara had 3. Mandy Leigh and junior libero Hayley Montoya led the team with 10 digs.
In the second match, Buffalo played a close first set, losing 25–23 despite leading late at 22–21. The Bulls hit 0.400 and had 19 kills, while the Broncos hit 0.281 and had 11 kills. However, the Bulls had six service errors, which was just enough for the Broncos to take the set.
The Bulls serving improved in the next two sets (just 4 errors), but their hitting efficiency dropped. Still Buffalo had a late lead at 20–19 in the second set, and trailed just by 2 at 23–21 in the third set. In each set, WMU made the big plays when it counted and pulled out the victory.
Fifth year outside hitter Cali Assaley led the Bulls with 9 kills and Okwara had 8. Mandy Leigh had 7 kills (her career high) and just one error, and that put her close to triple-double territory as she also had 29 assists and led the team with 13 digs. Okwara and junior right side Emma Gielas led the team with 4 blocks each.
- Senior defensive specialist Jenna Sonnenberg was in uniform, but did not play in either match. Sophomore defensive specialist Julianna Lopez was not in uniform.
- Sophomore Maria Futey was the Bulls libero in the second match, the first time she has played that position. She picked up 12 digs.
- The Bulls had 10 service errors and just 3 aces in the second match. Definitely an area that needs improvement.
- Up next for the Bulls: a road match at Akron on Wednesday, September 28 at 6pm. Buffalo returns to Alumni Arena on Friday, September 30 to face Northern Illinois at 6pm (ESPN+). On Saturday, October 1, they face the Huskies again at 1pm (YouTube).
- Personal note: this will be my last volleyball post on Bull Run, something I started doing in 2014. Bull Run is shutting down at the end of the month, but I plan to continue doing these volleyball reports at https://ubfan.com/bb/index.php?/forum/13-buffalo-bulls-other-sports/ (you don’t need an account to read the reports, you will need an account if you want to comment). If you want to be notified of a new report, please follow me (@dj_paige) on Twitter, or search for recent tweets that include @ubvolleyball. You can also join the new Bull Run Discord (Discord is a social app that you can have on your computer and on your mobile device) where the volleyball reports will also be linked, and where there is often live chat during volleyball matches (plus other UB sports chat). You will need to create an account (it’s free) to join us on Discord.