TOLEDO, OH - The University at Buffalo volleyball team won the first two sets on Saturday night and held on to defeat Toledo, 3-2, at Savage Arena. The win was UB's fourth of the season and all four have come in five sets.
The Bulls took the contest 25-19, 25-22, 16-25, 16-25, 15-11 as they won the opening set after getting out to an early 12-6 deficit. Following a UB timeout, the Bulls went on a 10-2 run capped off by a Scout McLerran service ace, giving Buffalo a 16-14 lead. Another service ace from Madison Clark increased the UB lead to 21-18 and a block by Cassie Shado and Valisha Watkins gave UB the set, 25-19.
The second set was tight between both squads as the Rockets were the ones who held on to the lead at 18-16 before the Bulls answered with a 4-1 run as a kill from Watkins put the Bulls ahead 20-19. The set was tied at 20-20 when the Bulls scored the next three points to take a 23-20 lead and back-to-back kills by Shado clinched the set and gave UB a 2-0 advantage.
Toledo came back out though after the intermission and won both the third and fourth sets 25-16 to send the match to a fifth set. It was the second straight five-set affair for both teams.
The teams traded points to open the fifth set, but with it tied at 4-4, UB scored three straight points, capped off on a block from Shado as Toledo called timeout down 7-4. The Rockets fought their way back to within a single point at 10-9, but the Bulls answered with two straight to go back up 12-9. The Bulls never gave up the lead and a kill by Watkins ended the set, 15-11 and the Bulls came away with the road victory.
"It was a great team win on the road," said head coach Blair Brown Lipsitz. "We came out strong and fought through some rough patches in the third and fourth set. We were glad to see Raven Jordan come in and do some good things for us on the outside, and I thought Madison Clark made some fantastic defensive plays to keep the ball alive."
Watkins tied her career-high with 23 kills as she had just six errors on 50 swings tonight, hitting .340. She completed the double-double with 11 digs.
Shado had 18 kills as she hit .424 and added six blocks, while Megan Wernette added 10 kills and nine digs. McLerran, who had 64 assists on Thursday night, added 51 more on Saturday. She also had three kills and nine digs.
Clark finished the night with a career-high 21 digs, while freshman Maddie Torbeck added 11 digs. The Bulls had 7.0 total blocks led by the six from Shado.
Buffalo will close out the regular season with two more on the road next weekend, beginning on Friday evening at Bowling Green.