BUFFALO, NY – In a very similar match to last night, the University at Buffalo volleyball team put up a dominating performance in the opening set, but fell again in four, this time 3-1 to Kent State.
The Golden Flashes took the match 16-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-19 as they outhit the Bulls .262 to .162.
Early on, the Bulls looked unstoppable hitting .458 in the opening set. Buffalo began the night on a 9-1 run as sophomore Megan Wernette provided some solid serving and sophomore Valisha Watkins had two kills and a block during the run. UB continued to lead 15-6 following a Kent State attack error and increased their lead to 20-9 following a kill by Wernette. A kill by senior Amber Hatchett increased the Buffalo lead to 24-13 and a kill from Cassie Shado ended the set in Buffalo's favor, 25-16.
Kent State was able to answer right back though, opening a 10-3 lead in the second set, forcing an early Buffalo timeout. UB was able to fight back within two at 16-14 and pulled even closer after a block by Shado had the Bulls down just 18-17. The Bulls trailed by two again at 21-19 when Kent State scored the final four points of the set.
The Golden Flashes then opened the third set on a 13-3 run en route to a 25-14 victory and in the fourth set, the Golden Flashes went on a 6-2 run with the score tied at 7-7 to take a 13-9 lead. The Bulls pulled within three at 17-14, but Kent State quickly went back ahead 21-15. UB was able to fight off two match points before falling 25-19 in the fourth.
Watkins led the Bulls with 18 kills on the night, while Shado and Wernette each added nine kills. Wernette hit a team-high .421 as she had just one error on 19 swings. She also led the team with three service aces on the night. Freshman Rachel Sanks added six kills and Hatchett finished with five. Freshman setter Scout McLerran had 42 assists.
Defensively, freshman Hannah Watson had 17 digs, while fellow freshman Maddie Torbeck added 14. The Bulls had 9.0 total blocks, led by three each from Shado and Wernette. As a team, seven of the blocks were of the solo variety.
The Bulls will close out their five-match homestand on Thursday night when they host Akron at 7:00 pm. This will be UB's final home match of the season and Hatchett, Buffalo's lone senior will be honored that night.