BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo volleyball team nearly pulled off the dramatic comeback on Saturday evening, forcing five sets after losing the first two, but ultimately fell to visiting Ball State, 3-2, at Alumni Arena.
The Cardinals took the match 25-20, 25-16, 24-26, 20-25, 15-8 as they narrowly outhit the Bulls in the match. However, UB struggled from the service line, where they recorded just one ace as opposed to 10 errors.
After heading into the break down 2-0, UB came out in the third set and trailed for much of it, going down 21-16 late. The Bulls responded with three straight points to pull within 21-19, but continued to trail by two at 23-21. UB went on another 3-0 run to go up 24-23 and a kill from junior Carissa McKenna finally ended the set at 26-24.
The Bulls continued their success early in the fourth set as they raced out to a 7-1 lead, but Ball State quickly tied it up and eventually took the lead at 16-13. UB responded with an 8-1 run to take a 21-17 lead in the set and a kill from sophomore Liz Scott ended the set and evened the match up at 2-2.
The Cardinals led through out the fifth set, scoring the first two points and never looking back. The Bulls trailed 9-4 in the set and pulled within four at 9-5, but would get no closer, falling 15-8 in the pivotal set.
"Unfortunately we didn't have the same energy in the first two sets that we had late in the match and it is extremely difficult to comeback from a two-set deficit," said head coach Todd Kress. "I thought we received some solid play off the bench, but we have to be able to put it all together."
Junior Dana Musil and freshman Tahleia Bishop each finished with a team-high 15 kills, while Scott added 13 and McKenna finished with seven. Sophomore Kayla Nagle had a career-high 47 assists, adding five kills and 10 digs.
Defensively, junior Kelly Svoboda finished with a match-high 28 digs, while Musil added 14. Freshman Kayla Yingling chipped in 15 digs and Bishop joined Nagle with 10. Freshman Akeila Lain had a team-high six blocks, while Scott and McKenna each finished with five.
The Bulls hit the road one more time in the regular season as they head to Bowling Green on Friday night for a 7:00 pm match against the Falcons.