MOUNT PLEASANT, MI - The University at Buffalo volleyball team won its third straight match on Friday night as the Bulls swept Central Michigan, 3-0. The Bulls improve to 12-8 on the season and 5-4 in Mid-American Conference play. This is the latest in a season that the Bulls have been over .500 in MAC play.
UB took the contest 25-19, 25-21, 25-18 as the Bulls outhit the Chippewas, .171 to .033. That was the second lowest hitting total by a UB opponent this season. UB opened up an early 9-5 lead in the first set, capped off with a kill from sophomore Kristina Nieves. The Bulls led 17-13 when they scored four straight points, including two of those on service aces from junior Larra Bickelhaupt to take a 21-13 lead. The Chippewas pulled within 22-19, but UB scored the final three points of the set as a block from sophomore Scout McLerran clinched the opening set.
The Bulls led for almost all of the second set as a kill from freshman Andrea Mitrovic put Buffalo ahead 14-9. Another kill by Mitrovic clinched the second set, 25-21.
Central Michigan got out to a 10-8 lead in the third set, but the Bulls answered by scoring six straight points including a solo block from senior Cassie Shado that gave Buffalo the 14-10 lead. A CMU attack error extended the UB lead to 19-13, but CMU fought back and pulled within two at 20-18. However, the Bulls did not allow the Chippewas to score again as Buffalo scored the final five points of the match as a kill from Mitrovic clinched the set and the match.
Mitrovic led the Bulls with 13 kills and just three errors as she hit .385. Sophomore Polina Prokudina added 10 kills, while Shado had four and three other UB players each finished with a pair. McLerran had 24 assists and nine digs, while adding two kills and a block.
Bickelhaupt finished the night with a career-high five service aces, including four of those coming in the opening set. She also added eight digs and five assists.
Defensively, sophomore Hannah Watson added seven digs, while Shado had three blocks, including a solo. Nieves finished with two kills and two blocks, while junior Raven Jordan added a pair of kills and a block.
The Bulls will remain on the road Saturday evening when they face Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti. The match will begin at 7pm.