KALAMAZOO, MI – The University at Buffalo volleyball team dropped a tough four-set match at Western Michigan on Saturday evening.
The Broncos took the contest 25-16, 27-25, 17-25, 25-21. After an easy victory in the first set, the Bulls made the Broncos work in the second. A kill from sophomore Megan Wernette gave Buffalo a 13-9 lead in the set and UB continued to lead 17-14, when Western Michigan fought back to tie it up at 19-19. The set remained tied at 23-23 when the Bulls were forced to fight off two set points before the Broncos took the set 27-25.
UB kept the match alive in the third set as the Bulls opened on a 12-2 run. Buffalo got three kills from freshman Rachel Sanks during the run as well as three service aces from Wernette. UB continued to lead 18-10 before winning the set 25-17.
Western Michigan led 10-7 early in the fourth before the Bulls went on a quick 4-1 run to tie it up at 11-11 following a solo block by Wernette. However, the Broncos went back up 17-12 before UB was able to cut it back within two at 20-18. UB remained down by just two at 21-19 when Western Michigan scored three straight points. The Bulls fought off two match points and pulled within 24-21, but the Broncos closed out the match following a timeout, 25-21.
Junior Cassie Shado led the Bulls with 13 kills as she hit .417 for the night, while Wernette finished with 11 kills and just one error on 32 swings, hitting .312. Sanks added a career-best 10 kills. Senior Amber Hatchett and sophomore Valisha Watkins each finished with seven.
Freshman setter Scout McLerran finished the night with 43 assists, 17 digs, and also added three kills on three attempts, and an ace and a block.
She led the Buffalo digging attack, which out dug Western Michigan, 74-62. Freshman Maddie Torbeck also had 17 digs, while fellow freshman Hannah Watson added 13. Taina Benitez finished with nine digs and Sanks added six.
Wernette had four solo blocks on the night, while Shado and McLerran each finished with one.
The Bulls will now open up a season-long five-match home stand on Friday night when Buffalo hosts Central Michigan at 6pm.