Bulls fall in MAC opener

UB Volleyball suffers first home loss of the season to Bowling Green

The Buffalo volleyball team lost to the Bowling Green Falcons 3-0 Friday night at Alumni Arena.

Bowling Green (7-7, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) was able to streak at the end of all three sets, despite back and forth action from both teams. The Bulls (8-5, 0-1 MAC) were unable to streak on offense against a poised Falcons’ defense. Buffalo came into Friday having gone 2-1 at the American Volleyball Classic in Washington D.C. the weekend prior. The game was the Bulls’ first conference game of the season.

“We just weren’t keeping up with their defense,” said senior midblock Megan Wernette. “We didn’t play with the intensity we needed to compete with such a strong defense. That is the thing about the MAC, anybody can beat anybody.”

Bowling Green started the first set with a strong team performance, leading to a 13-7 lead and a timeout from Buffalo. The Bulls went 12-10 following the timeout, making it a 23-19 Falcons lead. Despite Buffalo’s effort, Bowling Green was able to earn the next two points and the first set off a serving ace. 

Bowling Green got off to another hot start in the second set earning a quick 7-1 lead. Buffalo continued to struggle in its kill attempts, as Bowling Green continued to block. Buffalo was still able to surge back off strong volleys to keep it a 12-11 Falcons lead. After a Bowling Green timeout, the teams traded scores leading to a 19-17 Falcons lead. The Bulls were unable to keep the game close, having double contact errors and being unable to deal with strong serves from Bowling Green. The Falcons won the set 25-19 and took a 2-0 set lead.

“We did not stick to our game plan,” said head coach Blair Brown-Lipsitz. “We knew they were going to be good on defense but we couldn’t compete with them tonight. If we want to compete in this conference, we are going to have to fix these things come Monday. Moving forward, we are going to need to be ready for teams like this.”

The Bulls went serve-for-serve with the Falcons to start the third set 7-7. Buffalo scored 10 over the next 20 serves, to keep the tie at 17. Yet, the Falcons kept the same energy as in the first two sets and used strong defense to win the set 25-21 and the match 3-0.

“We didn’t follow-up on the transition,” Brown-Lipsitz said. “We just didn’t have the fight we needed to be there after things weren’t working off the spike.”

This was the Bulls’ third 3-0 loss of the season, having lost 3-0 to the Penn State Lions (9-2, 0-1 Big Ten) in the American Classic.
Sophomore outside hitter Andrea Mitrovic led the team in kills with 15 off 44 attempts in Friday’s game.

Buffalo plays its second home game of the weekend Saturday against the Miami (OH) Redhawks (9-4, 1-0 MAC), with a start time of 6 p.m. at Alumni Arena.

Thomas Zafonte is the senior sports editor and can be reached at: thomas.zafonte@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @Thomas_Spectrum


 Thomas Zafonte is a senior English major. He is a UB sports fan and enjoys traveling around Buffalo.