CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The University at Buffalo volleyball team opened its 2016 campaign on Friday with a 3-0 loss to ACC foe Virginia in the first match of the Farfield Inn & Suites Cavalier Classic.
Virginia took the match 25-16, 25-21,25-20 as the Cavaliers outhit the Bulls .274 to .140. Virginia got out to the early 13-4 lead in the opening set as the Bulls started four freshmen in the season opener. The Bulls however, got more comfortable as the match went on, as the second and third sets became more competitive.
UB took an early 4-1 lead in the second set and continued to lead 11-9 following a kill from setter Scout McLerran. The Bulls led 13-12 when Virginia went on a 6-1 run to take an 18-14 lead. The Bulls pulled back within two at 21-19 following a Virginia service error, but the Cavaliers scored four of the final six points to take the set.
The Bulls trailed 10-5 in the third set before going on a 7-1 run to take a 12-11 lead. McLerran had an ace during the run and the Bulls also got a kill from fellow freshman Rachel Sanks. Tied at 13, Virginia went on a 7-2 run to take a 20-15 lead and despite UB pulling within 23-20, Virginia scored the final two points for the victory.
Sanks led the Bulls in her debut with seven kills, while also tying for the team-lead with six digs. She also had UB's only service ace. Sophomore Megan Wernette added six kills and had just one error as she hit.625. Amber Hatchett added five kills, while McLerran and freshman Kristina Curcin each had four.
McLerran finished her first collegiate match with 25 assists, while adding those four kills, five digs and two blocks.
Defensively, freshman Hannah Watson recorded her first start at libero and had five digs and three assists. The Bulls had 7.0 blocks as a team, led by two each from Hatchett, McLerran, Wernette and junior Cassie Shado.
UB will remain in Charlottesville tomorrow for a pair of matches beginning with Northwestern at 11am. Buffalo will face George Washington later on Saturday afternoon.