The rundown

A recap of this week in UB Athletics

softball

Softball takes one of two in Akron

The Bulls split their doubleheader with the Akron Zips on Tuesday. Buffalo fell 4-3 in game one and took over offensively in game two scoring a season-high 16 runs for a win.

The Zips took a 1-0 lead in the third inning to open the scoring in game one. The Bulls would answer by loading the bases before senior shortstop Alissa Karjel hit a bases-clearing triple to give the Bulls their only runs of the game.

Akron came back to tie and eventually won on a walkoff in the bottom of the seventh, giving junior pitcher Lace Smith the loss. The Bulls stranded nine runners in game one, something that wouldn’t happen later that afternoon.

Smith recovered in game two after taking the game one loss. Smith gave up four runs in four innings while senior pitcher Ally Power gave up two runs and struck out five in two innings of relief.

The Buffalo bats came alive for game two. The Bulls scored three runs or more in every inning but the first and fifth.

The Zips scored three runs in the first inning but their lead was quickly erased by freshman center fielder Alexis Matheney. Matheney hit a grand slam over the left field wall for her fifth home run of the season to put UB up 4-3.

The Bulls kept the bats firing in the third inning, scoring six runs. Matheney finished her day 3-3 with a double, home run, five runs batted in and four runs scored. Sophomore left fielder Anna Aguon had 2 RBIs and junior right fielder Ufuoma Ogagan scored four runs as well.

Buffalo plays its next game at home against Akron on April 10.

John Stutzman named coach of the year

Wrestling coach John Stutzman was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year on Wednesday for the first time in his career.

The Bulls went 12-5 in dual meets this year, tying the most wins since 1998 when Buffalo returned to Division I. Stutzman is in his sixth season as head coach and led the Bulls to a school-record five MAC duals wins. The Bulls’ second-place finish at the MAC Championships was the highest in program history.

Stutzman coached Troy Keller and Brett Perry to individual titles to MAC Championships and had six wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships this season.

Volleyball assigns new head coach

Associate Head Coach Scott Smith has been promoted to head coach following the news that Blair Brown Lipsitz is stepping down from her position.

Smith has been on Buffalo’s staff for four years and was promoted to the associate head coach position this year. The Bulls have had two of their best seasons in the MAC the past two seasons, including a program-record 10 conference wins in 2018.

“I am extremely excited to lead this program,” Smith said in a statement released by UB Athletics. “I want to thank Mark Alnutt and Kathy Twist for this opportunity and believing in me to take Buffalo volleyball to the next level. I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside Blair for the past four years. I have learned a lot from her and know that I am ready for this position because of her guidance.”

Smith has been Buffalo’s top recruiter and spent five seasons at Georgia Southern where he was the recruiting coordinator.

"It has been an honor to be the head volleyball coach at Buffalo over the last four seasons," Lipsitz said in a statement from UB Athletics. "At this time, I am making a decision that is in the best interest of my family. I have a great deal of confidence in Scott to lead these young women and I look forward to continuing to assist him and the program however I can."

Sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com