BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo will begin their third season of producing ESPN3 events as part of the ESPN University Initiative program this weekend when the Bulls host Ohio and Kent State in volleyball.
As one of the first Mid-American Conference schools to take part in the program, UB will be producing ESPN3 content for volleyball, men's basketball, women's basketball, and wrestling.
The UB volleyball team is continuing a five-match homestand with 6pm starts on Friday night against Ohio and Saturday night against Kent State.
The Bulls are coming off a 3-2 win over Eastern Michigan in their last match on Saturday evening and have been playing better volleyball as of late. Junior Cassie Shado is currently second in the MAC and 16th nationally in hitting percentage at .405 and she is tied for the team lead with 181 kills. Shado is also second on the team in blocks with 73. Sophomore Valisha Watkins also has 181 kills on the year, while sophomore Megan Wernette is third on the team with 167 kills and leads the Bulls with 79 blocks.
Freshman setter Scout McLerran is coming off the best weekend of her career when she was named UB Female Athlete of the Week. McLerran finished with 64 assists on Friday against Central Michigan, the most by a UB player since 2005 and she has 117 assists over the two matches. Defensively, freshman Hannah Watson has a team-high 330 digs, while McLerran has 185, Watkins has 153 and freshman Maddie Torbeck adds 145.
Ohio is 11-11 on the season and 7-3 in conference play following a 3-0 win against Western Michigan on Saturday night. The Bobcats are led by Jaime Kosiorek, who has 257 kills, while Mallory Salis, who has been named MAC East Player of the Week for three straight weeks, has 246 kills and 210 digs. Stephanie Olman leads Ohio with 709 assists, and defensively, Brooke Coleman has a team-high 277 digs, one of three Ohio players with over 200 digs.
Kent State will enter Friday night's match against Akron with a 12-11 record and a 5-5 record in the MAC. Kelsey Bittinger has a team-high 294 kills, while Drew Norberg has 215 kills and is hitting .254 on the year. Katarina Kojic leads the Golden Flashes with 656 assists and is second on the team with 19 aces. Chaellen Geraghty leads Kent State with 24 aces and 493 digs.
For those unable to attend, both matches will air on ESPN3 with Brian Koziol doing play by play and Amy Audibert on color commentary.