BLOOMINGTON, IN – The University at Buffalo volleyball team road the momentum of a hot-hitting first set, defeating Youngstown State, 3-1, in the first match of the IU Volleyball Classic on Friday evening at the University Gym.
The Bulls took the match, 28-26, 25-27, 25-19, 25-18, hitting .258 over the four sets.
YSU had a 7-3 lead in the opening set, but six straight UB points put them ahead 9-7. The Bulls would again go on to trail by as many as three at 21-18, but four straight points by Youngstown St. put them behind 24-22. The Bulls then fought off five set points before coming back for the 28-26 victory. The Bulls hit a season-high .542 in that opening set, led by six kills from sophomore Dana Musil.
The Bulls got out to an early 9-4 lead in the second set, but a 10-1 run by the Penguins forced the Bulls to call their first timeout. The Penguins ended up taking the set, 27-25, as both teams headed to the break.
Following the break, the Bulls pulled ahead in the match with a 25-19 victory in the third set. The Bulls got a boost from sophomore Christine Fritsche, who had three kills and two aces in the set.
UB was able to close it out in the fourth set as senior Abby Niekamp led the way, recording kills on all five of her attacks in the set. Sophomore Kelly Svoboda sealed the win with service aces on the final two points.
"We need to continue to improve in everything we do and everyone needs to buy in to what we are trying to do defensively," said head coach Todd Kress. "When we do that we will give ourselves a chance to win more matches."
The Bulls were led by 15 kills from Musil and 10 kills from Fritsche. Niekamp finished with nine kills and just one error, hitting .615, while freshmen Liz Scott and Alessandra Jovy-Heuser each added seven kills. Sophomore Dani Reinert ran the UB offense with 44 assists, while the Bulls had 10 service aces as a team, led by Fritsche's four.
Defensively, Svoboda led the way with 18 digs, while Reinert added seven. In the blocking department, UB had three players finish with two total blocks.
Youngstown State was led by 19 kills from Missy Hundelt and 13 kills from Jackie Carlisle.
The Bulls continue play this weekend at the IU Volleyball Classic with a pair of matches tomorrow. UB will face Southeast Missouri State at 10:00 am and conclude with the host Hoosiers at 7:30 pm.