BUFFALO, NY – After playing their first 16 matches on the road, the University at Buffalo volleyball team played its first match inside Alumni Arena on Saturday night, however the Bulls fell to Ball State, 3-0.
The Cardinals took the contest 25-19, 25-17, 27-25 as Ball State outhit Buffalo, .311 to .209. Ball State got out to an early 7-4 lead in the first set and led 18-14 when the Bulls were able to cut it one following a kill from sophomore Valisha Watkins, but Ball State ended the set on a 7-2 run.
UB held a 12-10 lead in the second set when Ball State went on an 11-3 run, winning the set 25-17. Buffalo had its most success in the third set as it looked to keep the match alive. A kill from Watkins gave the Bulls a 17-14 lead, but Ball State scored four straight points to go ahead 18-17. A block from Cassie Shado and Amber Hatchett put the Bulls back up 20-18 and UB continued to lead 22-20 when Ball State tied the set up. UB fought off two match points and the set remained tied at 25-25 when the Cardinals scored the final two points for the win.
Sophomore Megan Wernette joined Shado with a team-high nine kills. Watkins added seven kills, while Madison Clark and setter Scout McLerran each added five kills. McLerran hit a team-high .714, while also adding 32 assists.
Defensively, the Bulls were led by freshman Maddie Torbeck, who had a career-best 13 digs. Fellow freshman Hannah Watson added 12 digs, while Clark finished with nine. The Bulls outblocked Ball State, 9.0 to 5.0, as they were led by five blocks each from Wernette and Hatchett.
UB will continue its homestand on Friday when the Bulls host Miami (OH) at 6:00pm at Alumni Arena.