HAMILTON, NY – Despite trailing in each set, the University at Buffalo volleyball team began the 2011 season with a 3-0 sweep of Seton Hall in the opening match of the Colgate Classic. This is the third straight year that the Bulls have opened the season with a victory.
Buffalo took the match 29-27, 25-23, 25-22 as it consistently fought back in each and every set. The first set was tight throughout, but the Bulls stepped up most when needed, as they held off four Seton Hall match points, finally tying things up at 27-27 on a Seton Hall service error. The Bulls used that to spark a mini 3-0 run to take the opening set 29-27.
The second set did not go UB's way early as Seton Hall jumped out to a 7-2 lead. However, the Bulls responded with a 14-6 run, taking a three-point advantage following kills from freshman Liz Scott and senior Abby Niekamp. Seton Hall would tie it back up and even went on to take a 21-20 lead, but the Bulls responded with three straight points, capped off with a Dana Musil service ace. The Bulls would end the set on a kill from Niekamp.
The third set was another close one with neither team holding more than a three-point lead until the final point. The turning point in the set came late in the third when it had appeared that Seton Hall tied things up at 23-23. However, the Pirates were called for having the wrong server and the point was awarded to the Bulls, giving them a 24-22 advantage. The final point of the match came on a double block from Musil and Carissa McKenna.
Niekamp led the way with 16 kills for the Bulls, adding two block assists. In her first collegiate match Scott had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs, adding an ace and a block assist. Scott hit a team-high .421 with just two errors on 19 swings. McKenna added seven kills and no errors on 17 attempts for a .412 hitting mark. Mckenna tied her career high with eight total blocks, including two solos. Musil added eight kills and nine digs, while freshman Alessandra Jovy-Heuser had four kills and just one error in 13 attempts.
Sophomore Kelly Svoboda tied Scott for team-high honors with 10 digs, adding a match-high two service aces. As a team, the Bulls registered 10.5 total blocks as Musil added three block assists. Sophomore Dani Reinert has a match-high 38 assists in the victory.
The Bulls are back in action this evening as they play the first of two straight against Colgate. Match time is set for 7:00 pm.