The UB Volleyball team swept Cleveland State to finish second at the Lehigh Steel Tournament, with a 2–1 record. For the season, Buffalo is now 4–2.
Buffalo was led by junior right side Emma Gielas, who picked up 11 kills and made just two errors for a 0.500 hitting percentage. Gielas had five kills in the first set, one of them giving Buffalo a 24–15 lead. The Vikings then scored the next six points to make the final set score close.
In the second set, Buffalo won 25–10, hitting 0.414 while holding the Vikings to a negative hitting percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Maria Futey picked up five kills in the set, plus back-to-back aces (the second of which gave Buffalo a 16–3 lead).
Buffalo fell behind early in the third set, but was able to pull even at 14–14 on a kill from Gielas, and then senior middle blocker Abby Leigh took over. Buffalo won the next three points on two blocks by Leigh and a kill by Leigh to make the score 17–14. After a Cleveland State point and then a Cleveland State service error, Leigh added two more points on a solo block and a kill. The Bulls led 20–15 and continued to enlarge the lead during the rest of the set.
Leigh and Gielas were both named to the all-Tournament team.
- Lehigh was the tournament champion, with a 2–1 record, and they held the tie-break because of their head-to-head win over Buffalo. Buffalo nearly came away with the tournament title, as Lehigh fell behind Rider 2–0 (a Rider win would have given Buffalo the tournament championship); but Lehigh won the next three sets, 15–12 in the fifth set.
- Futey picked up four aces against Cleveland State, her career high. Sophomore outside hitter Katrin Trebichavská had two aces (she leads the team with 11 on the season) and sophomore defensive specialist Julianna Lopez also had 2 aces.
- Buffalo had to adjust its normal serving mechanics, because of the very limited space beyond the end-line at Lehigh. The Bulls servers could take at most three small steps or two larger steps. In particular, Trebichavská had to make major modifications to her approach, as she almost always stands as far back as possible and runs up to the end line, gaining extra velocity on her serve because of her forward momentum. But at Lehigh, KT could only take two steps before hitting the ball, a major modification to what she normally does.
- Abby Leigh finished with 5 blocks, including 3 solo blocks
- Sophomore setter Mandy Leigh (Abby’s sister) had 29 assists, and also three kills with no errors.
- Trebichavská and Futey led the team with 8 digs each, while junior libero Hayley Montoya had 7 digs.
- Buffalo next plays in the WNY Invite tournament. On Thursday, September 8, 2022, Buffalo will play at Canisius (Koessler Athletic Center) at 7pm. The next day, Buffalo will face Youngstown State at 11am at Alumni Arena, and then will finish the tournament against Bucknell at 5pm at Alumni Arena. All games are free.
- Check out the photo on the UB Volleyball Instagram feed at https://www.instagram.com/p/CiEQ9yPMSkS. That’s my photo! And they gave me credit! (The last time UB used one of my photos, they didn’t give me credit). Still, the photo seems too yellow, and normally I would have fixed it, but I didn’t have a computer with me to fix the color balance. But you know what photographers always say: “Any photo of UB Volleyball is a good photo”. (Yes, they really say that)