WEST POINT, NY – The University at Buffalo volleyball team completed its weekend at the West Point Challenge on Sunday, splitting a pair of five-set matches. UB defeated Army early in the day, 3-2, before falling to Bryant in the nightcap, 3-2. UB is now 11-4 on the season.
The Bulls used a total team effort in the opener to defeat a pesky Army squad in five. The victory was UB's second in five sets this season. The Bulls took the match 26-28, 25-22, 25-16, 16-25, 15-10 as UB outhit Army, .268 to .202.
Down early in the first set 14-9, UB would come back to take a two-point lead at 20-18, but Army fought back and ultimately took the 28-26 win. In the second set, UB was down 11-10 when it went on a 7-1 run to take a 17-12 lead. Amy would tie it up at 20-20, but the Bulls took the set, ending it on a 5-2 run.
The Bulls had their most dominant set in the third as UB hit .500, committing just one hitting error as a team. UB took an early 7-3 lead and never looked back. The Bulls had leads of 20-12 and 21-14, before taking the set 25-16. Army came back in the fourth set looking equally as dominant with a 25-16 victory of its own, setting up a fifth set.
The Bulls stormed out to an early 5-1 lead in the fifth set. Army would get to within two on a few occasions, including at 11-9, but two kills from Kristin Bignell gave the Bulls a 13-10 advantage. Following an attack error from Army, the Bulls clinched the match on a kill from junior Abby Niekamp.
The Bulls had five players in double figures in kills, led by a career-high 17 kills from freshman Christine Fritsche. Bignell, Niekamp and freshman Dana Musil all had 12 kills, while senior Kayla Govier finished with 10. Senior Lindsey Schlegel and freshman Dani Reinert each did their part in running the UB offense with 31 and 21 assists, respectively.
As a team, UB had 75 digs, led by freshman Kelly Svoboda, who tied her career high with 24. Fritsche completed her double-double on the afternoon with 12 digs, while Reinert finished with a career-best 10. Schlegel had nine digs against Army, while Musil finished with eight.
"This was an extremely solid team win against an Army team that went to the NCAA Tournament in 2009," said head coach Todd Kress.
In the nightcap, UB held a 2-1 advantage before Bryant took the final two sets. Bryant took the match 18-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 15-12 as both teams hit just under .200 for the match.
UB had two players in double figures in kills led by a career-high 19 kills from Govier. Bignell added 12 kills, while Niekamp had eight. As a team, UB recorded a season-high 14 service aces, led by four from Fritsche and Svoboda, both career highs. Schlegel and Reinert, who had 26 and 20 assists, respectively, each had two service aces.
Defensively, Svoboda led the way with 15 digs, while UB finished with 15.0 total team blocks. Freshman Carissa McKenna led the way with a career-high eight total blocks. Bignell added six total blocks, while Niekamp added five, including two solos.
UB returns home as it beings a three-match homestand on Wednesday night against Canisius. Match is set to start at 7:00 pm.