The UB Bulls volleyball team got a strong start to the season, posting a second-place finish in their UB Morgan Classic Invitational over the weekend. The tournament pitted UB against SUNY Stony Brook, local rival Canisius College and Big East foe St. Johns University.
The Bulls started off the meet against Stony Brook, where they had to overcome some of their own nerves in addition to their opponent. UB lost the first match in the best-of-five format 30-24, and were in danger of falling behind 2-0, but eked out a 30-28 nail biter in game two. Stony Brook played tough throughout, but the Bulls won two more tight games by scores of 30-24 and 30-28.
Sophomore Lindsay Matinkosh led the charge with 16 kills, nine digs, and five blocks, while freshman Katie Henry chipped in with 11 kills, nine digs, and five service aces in her first collegiate match. Senior setter Larissa LaCour paced the Bulls with 35 assists to go along with six kills and a team-high 10 digs. The victory was especially sweet for LaCour and the rest of the upperclassmen, who suffered a five-game defeat at the hands of the Seawolves last year.
The Red Storm of St.Johns quickly put to rest any notions the Bulls had of charging through the tournament. St.Johns won all three games decisively, (30-22, 30-19, and 30-25). The Red Storm out-killed the Bulls by a count of 42-34 and also had 14 service aces.
Matikosh again led the way with eight kills and four blocks. Newcomers Molly Schrantz and Airin Edrosolan showed they are ready to play at the collegiate level by leading the squad in digs and assists, respectively.
Schrantz continued her strong play in the tourney's finale as the Bulls lay claim to being the best team in Buffalo. UB swept through the Canisius Golden Griffins with scores of 30-22, 30-18, and 30-22 to earn their second place finish.
Schrantz had 11 kills, second only to sophomore teammate Becky Ashare's game high 15. Matikosh added eight kills and 13 digs, closely following senior Heather Barfuss, who led the team with 14 digs.
Matikosh and LaCour were named to the All Tournament Team for their outstanding play throughout the tournament.
The Bulls are now off until Friday, when they travel to Amherst, Mass. to participate in the UMass Invitational with New Hampshire and Dartmouth.