BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo volleyball team hung tough against SEC foe Ole Miss on Sunday, but the Rebels defeated the Bulls 3-0 in the final match of the UB Invite. The contest featured 35 ties and 20 lead changes as the Bulls finished the weekend with a 2-2 record.
The Rebels took the contest 28-26, 25-22, 25-18 as they outhit the Bulls .162 to .108. The first set was the closest, with both teams having an opportunity to take the set. Trailing 4-2 early, the Bulls scored nine straight points, including three aces from junior Megan Lipski. The Bulls continued to lead 14-8, but a 9-4 run from Ole Miss put it back within one. The Rebels took a 24-23 lead, but a kill from junior Akeila Lain fought off set point.
UB then took a 25-24 lead, but the Rebels fought off a set point and scored two straight to go up, 26-25. A kill from Amber Hatchett kept the set going, but the Rebels scored the final two points to claim the opening set.
The second set remained close through out with 16 ties and 10 lead changes. In fact, neither team led by more than two points during the set until the final point. The Bulls led late in the set at 21-20, but Ole Miss ended on a 5-1 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set was another close one early on as the Bulls led 13-12 midway through the set. However, a 6-1 Ole Miss run gave the Rebels the lead for good as they scored the final four points and won the set, 25-18.
"I thought we continued to get better of the course of the weekend," said head coach Reed Sunahara. "We know we still have a long way to go, but we saw some good things and we know the areas that we need to improve in."
Bishop finished with a season-high 16 kills as she was named to the All-Tournament Team following the match. Bishop completed the opening weekend with 45 kills and a .248 hitting percentage. Hatchett joined Lipski and senior Sable Staller with seven kills apiece. Junior Megan Lin led the offense with a match-high 37 assists, while adding seven digs and two blocks.
Freshman Niki Bozinoski finished with 12 digs, recording 64 in her first collegiate weekend. Staller added 10 digs, while Bishop added eight.
The Bulls will now head on the road for the first time next weekend as they head to the USF Tournament in Tampa, FL. UB will play the hosts on Friday at 2:00 pm.