Spring Break Rundown
What happened in UB sports over spring break
Men’s Basketball (27-9, 15-3 MAC)
The Bulls’ Cinderella run concluded on Saturday, March 17 with a 95-75 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats (26-11, 10-8 Southeastern Conference) during the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Bulls were led by senior guard Wes Clark who finished with 26 points in his final collegiate game. Junior guard CJ Massinburg contributed 18 points, while junior guard Jeremy Harris had 10.
The Bulls completed their best season in program history, finishing with 27 wins and advancing to the second round of the tournament for the first time in school history.
Head coach Nate Oats was named District 14 head coach of the year by the NCAA. Clark will play in the inaugural Dos Equis 3X3U National Tournament where he and 3 other representatives from the MAC will compete to win the $100,000 prize pool. The tournament consisting only of graduating seniors will begin on March 30th.
Women’s Basketball (29-6, 16-2 MAC)
The Bulls completed their best season in school history over break. Going into the NCAA tournament as an 11 seed, the Bulls began with a 102-79 win over six seeded University of South Florida Bulls (26-8, 13-3 American Athletic Conference). Two days later, the Bulls beat the three seeded Florida State University Seminoles (26-7, 14-2 ACC) 86-65 to advance to the Sweet 16. The Bulls concluded their season with a 79-63 loss to last years national champions the University of South Carolina Gamecocks (29-7, 12-4 SEC).
Before the tournament, the Bulls were granted their first at-large bid into the tournament in school history. The Bulls then won their first ever tournament game and advanced to the Sweet 16 round for the first time as well.
Junior guard Cierra Dillard led the team and averaged 29 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.3 steals per game including a 36-point game in the opening round.
The Bulls’ senior class of guard Stephanie Reid, center Cassie Oursler, forward Mariah Suchan, guard Katherine Ups and guard Liisa Ups finish the winningest team at home in school history. The group finished with a 42-13 record inside of Alumni Arena.
Softball (11-14, 3-0 MAC)
The Bulls wrapped up non-conference play, competing in the Clearwater Spring Break Classic. The team went 1-4, with the only win being a 10-2 victory against Florida A&M (10-20, 3-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference). It was the Bulls’ eighth win of the season and were only one shy of matching last year’s total of nine.
The Bulls began conference play sweeping Eastern Michigan Eagles (4-22, 0-3 MAC) in a three game series that started on March 23. Junior pitcher Ally Power threw a no hitter in the team’s first conference game, a 9-1 victory. It was the first for the team since 2014. Power completed the weekend going 2-0 with 10 strikeouts in 10 innings.
The Bulls’ next series begins away Friday against the Northern Illinois Huskies (10-20, 1-2 MAC).
Wrestling (5-11, 2-5 MAC)
The Bulls had two wrestlers compete in the NCAA National Championships in Cleveland over break. Redshirt junior Jake Gunning competed in the heavyweight class and redshirt junior Bryan Lantry competed at 133 lbs.
Gunning lost his first bout and was forced to take a medical forfeit in the second round, ending his season. Lantry went 1-1 on the first day and advanced to day two of the championships for the second straight year. Lantry would fall in a 4-3 decision and finish his season with a 17-7 overall record.
Men’s Tennis (7-7, 1-1 MAC)
The Bulls opened up conference play in Toledo, Ohio splitting their matches 1-1. The Bulls began with a 5-2 loss to the Western Michigan Broncos (16-4, 3-0 MAC) but rebounded with a 6-1 victory over the Toledo Rockets (3-12, 0-3 MAC). With the win over Toledo, head coach Lee Nickell earned his 100th career win. Junior Ethan Nittolo and sophomore Hao Sheng Koay earned MAC doubles team of the week with their 2-0 start.
The Bulls played two Ivy League teams, the Cornell Big Red (7-6, 0-0 IVY) ranked 41st in the nation and the Harvard Crimson (16-3, 0-0 IVY) ranked 27th. The doubles team of senior Vidit Vaghela and senior Petr Vodak won the only game in either match, a 6-3 victory against Harvard.
Women’s Tennis (9-3, 2-0 MAC)
The Bulls went undefeated over spring break, going 4-0 in their matches. They began with a 4-2 victory over the College of Charleston Cougars (11-9, 0-0 CAA), their first ever victory over them. They then went on to sweep the South Carolina State Bulldogs (3-4, 1-0 MEAC) 7-0. Junior Chantal Martinez Blanco was named MAC player of the week after she defeated both of her opponents in two sets while moving from second to first singles.
The Bulls opened up conference play with victories over the Toledo Rockets (10-5, 0-2 MAC) and the Eastern Michigan Eagles (12-4, 1-1 MAC). The Bulls won their sixth straight match while simultaneously snapping Eastern Michigan's nine-game win streak. The teams split the singles matches 3-3 as the Bulls narrowly won 4-3 from strong doubles play.
Nathaniel Mendelson is a staff writer and can be reached at email@example.com.