UB volleyball continues struggles, still looking for first win

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For the volleyball team and first-year head coach Blair Brown Lipsitz, the quest for the first win of the season will continue.

Nothing seemed to go right for the Bulls (0-8) this weekend as they lost all three matches in the Rebel Classic in Oxford, Mississippi. Buffalo dropped matches against Ole Miss and Belmont Friday before falling to Southern Miss 3-2 Saturday.

The Bulls were almost able to pull off their first win in their first matchup Friday morning against Ole Miss (10-1), as they won the first two sets. But the host school won the next three sets and ultimately won the match 3-2.

Buffalo showed promise in the first set against Belmont (3-6) Friday night, as the Bulls only fell 31-29. After that, the Bulls could not overcome any deficits as they lost the next two sets by scores of 25-14 and 25-22 respectively and to lose the match 3-0. It was the fifth time in eight matches that the Bulls have failed to win a single set.

Belmont outplayed Buffalo in nearly every stat, including attacks (115-90), kills (50-29) and hit percentage (.235-.133).

“Tonight was a tough one, especially coming off this morning’s loss,” Lipsitz said after the loss to Belmont Friday night. “We played our hearts out in [tonight’s] game.”

For the Bulls, seniors Amber Hatchett and Megan Lipski led the charge with seven kills each. Senior setter Marissa Prinzbach finished with 25 set assists.

Buffalo again won the first two sets Saturday morning against Southern Miss (11-1), but again the team could not keep it up as it fell 3-2.

In the middle of her first season, Lipsitz has yet to instill in the Bulls with what helped her win four national titles during her career as a player at Penn State. But Lipsitz remained optimistic Friday night and noted that it is a slow and steady process in trying to change the overall culture of the program.

“We want them to learn how to fight,” Lipsitz said. “I always look forward to games in a positive light. We need to come together as a cohesive unit and from there, we can salvage the season.”

The Bulls’ next opponent may present them their best chance to get a win, as it plays at Canisius (1-10) on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Reuben Wolf is a sports contributing writer. Sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com.