BUFFALO, NY – For the first time ever the University at Buffalo volleyball team picked up a win in Kalamazoo as the Bulls defeated Western Michigan, 3-1. It was just the third ever win for the Bulls against the Broncos and the second straight year that UB has defeated WMU. Buffalo improved to 11-8 with the win and 3-4 in league play.
The Bulls took the match 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-22 as UB outhit WMU, .314 to .286. In fact, following the opening set, Buffalo hit .353 from the second set on.
Buffalo led 10-7 in the opening set and continued to lead 17-16 when the Broncos scored six straight points to take a 22-17 lead. WMU would go on to win the opening set, 25-22.
In the second set, the two teams were tied 16-16 midway through when the Bulls went on a quick 4-0 run as a kill from junior Kristina Nieves gave Buffalo a 20-16 lead, forcing a WMU timeout. The Broncos were able to cut the UB lead to two, but the Bulls clinched the set following a kill from sophomore Andrea Mitrovic.
In the third set, Buffalo led 15-11, but the Broncos fought their way back and went on a 9-2 run, taking a 20-17 advantage late. The Broncos continued to lead 22-20 when the Bulls scored the next three points as a kill from Rachel Sanks gave UB the 23-22 lead. WMU tied it back up at 23-23, however the Bulls would go on to score the final two points on back-to-back kills from Mitrovic, giving UB the 2-1 lead.
Western Michigan scored the first three points of the fourth set before Buffalo scored the next five, capped off on a block from Megan Wernette and Scout McLerran. Another block by the duo opened up a 16-11 advantage. A kill from Mitrovic gave the Bulls a 19-13 lead forcing the Broncos to call timeout. UB took a 24-20 advantage, but Western Michigan was able to fight off two match points before a kill from Wernette clinched the set and the match.
Mitrovic led the way with 19 kills as she took 57 swings on the evening. Wernette had 13 kills and just one error as she hit .667 for the night. Sanks added 10 kills and just one error, while junior Polina Prokudina had eight kills. Nieves had six kills and McLerran finished with three kills and a team-high 42 assists.
Defensively, Bickelhaupt had a team-high 15 digs, while Mitrovic finished with eight and McLerran and Hannah Watson each had six. The Bulls also finished with 6.0 total blocks, led by three each from Nieves, McLerran, and Wernette.
The Bulls will continue on the road tomorrow evening when they head to DeKalb, IL to face Northern Illinois. The match will begin at 8:30 pm ET.