BUFFALO, NY – For the second straight season the University at Buffalo volleyball team is preparing for the Mid-American Conference Tournament Quarterfinals. The Bulls advanced following their 3-0 win at Akron on Tuesday night.
The Bulls advanced as the 10th seed in the tournament for the second year in a row and will face the second seed and East Division Champion, Ohio, who had a bye in the first round. The Bulls and Bobcats spit their two meetings this season. Ohio won 3-0 in Athens in early October before UB won a five-set thriller in Buffalo during the first weekend of November.
Should the Bulls advance past Friday night's quarterfinal, they would move on to the semifinals, which take place on Saturday at 7:00 pm. UB would meet the winner of the Western Michigan/Miami quarterfinal. The MAC Championship match, which will air on SportsTime Ohio, will take place on Sunday at 3:00 pm. All remaining matches will take place at the SeaGate Center in Toledo, OH.
The Bulls are led by three players that have at least 280 kills on the season. Freshman Dana Musil has 287 kills, while Abby Niekamp has 286. Senior Kayla Govier rounds out the trio with 280 kills. Niekamp currently leads the Bulls in hitting percentage at .348, which is currently second in the MAC. Niekamp's total is also the seventh best single-season performance in school history.
The Bulls also have six players with at least 20 service aces on the season, led by 40 from Musil. Setters Lindsey Schlegel and Dani Reinert have 27 and 24, respectively, while senior Marisa Hornbaker and freshman Kelly Svoboda each have 23. Freshman Christine Fritsche completes the group with 21.
Defensively, Svoboda leads the Bulls with 457 digs, the seventh most in school history for a single season. Svoboda has been named the MAC East Defensive Player of the Week in each of the last two weeks and has 104 digs over her last five matches. Musil is second on the team with 252 digs, while junior Heather Pyle has 251.
Senior Kristin Bignell leads the team with 120 total blocks, including 22 solos. She is one of just five players in school history to record over 800 kills and 400 blocks. Govier is second on the team with 86 blocks, while Niekamp has 77. Freshman Carissa McKenna has come on as of late and has 58 blocks on the season, including 12 solos. McKenna was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week just two weeks ago.
Fans unable to make it to Toledo for tomorrow night's match or any of the 2010 Mid-American Conference Tournament can follow live stats or purchase a live video feed of the match from the MAC Website at mac-sports.com.