Bulls Hang On For Five-Set Win Over Dartmouth
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo volleyball team took it the distance on Friday night, defeating Dartmouth in five sets to open play at the Blue and White Classic. After winning the first two sets in the match, Buffalo was unable to hold on, but came back to win it in the fifth. The victory snaps a five-match losing skid for UB as it improves its record to 4-6.
The Bulls took the contest 25-23, 27-25, 20-25, 20-25, 15-11 as they outhit Dartmouth, .200 to .160. In fact, the Bulls had more kills, digs and blocks than their opponent, but struggled at the service line.
UB hit a season-high .519 in the opening set, but things remained close with neither team leading by more than four in the set. Buffalo got four kills in the opening set from both Liz Scott and Christine Fritsche to help it take the set. The Bulls got out to a 7-3 lead in the second , but ultimately trailed late at 22-20. However, a Dartmouth service error and a Scott service ace tied things up at 22-22. UB was unable to convert on its first two set points, but a solo block from freshman Akeila Lain clinched the set for the Bulls.
Dartmouth came back with a pair of 25-20 victories in the third and fourth sets, but Buffalo was not to be denied at home in front of a boisterous crowd, which included numerous student-athletes in attendance. The Bulls raced out to a 7-2 lead in the fifth, forcing the Big Green to call both of their time outs. Buffalo continued to lead by five at 14-9 before Dartmouth scored two straight points to pull within three. Following a UB timeout, Scott converted on a set from Dani Reinert to clinch the match for the Bulls.
"I thought we came out tentative in the third and fourth sets, but it was good to see us fight back in the fifth," said head coach Todd Kress. "We have a lot to work on, but with the quick turnaround here we are going get some sleep and watch some film and be ready for Hartford in the morning."
Scott and freshman Megan Lipski each finished with a match-high 18 kills. For Lipski, the total represents a new career high for the first year player. Dana Musil and Fritsche each finished with nine kills, while Lain and Carissa McKenna each had five. Lain added to her team-leading blocking total with seven, including two solos.
Defensively, junior Kelly Svoboda finished with a match-high 26 digs, while Lipski and Scott completed double-doubles with 11 and 10, respectively. Reinert added 13 digs and 38 assists, while sophomore Kayla Nagle tacked on 14 assists and three digs.
Earlier this afternoon Syracuse defeated Hartford, 3-0, in the opening match of the Blue and White Classic. The Bulls begin play tomorrow as they face Hartford at 12:00 pm. Syracuse will face Dartmouth at 2:30 and the Big Green and the Hawks fill face off at 5:00 pm. Buffalo and Syracuse conclude tournament play tomorrow evening at 7:30 pm.