Volleyball loses heartbreaker in five-set match

vball

The Bulls volleyball team (5-13, 1-5) lost to the Ohio Bobcats (12-7, 4-2) in a grueling five-set match Friday.

The Bulls came out strong in the first set, but after back-and-forth play in the remaining sets, UB ended up on the losing end of the battle, finishing the match 25-14, 24-26, 21-25, 25-21, 14-16.

After starting with a 21-8 lead in the first set, their biggest lead of the match, the Bulls were able to close out the set 25-14. Their ability to get kills and limit the Bobcats defensively allowed the Bulls to win the set so decisively. The Bulls had a total of 17 kills in the first alone, compared to eight for the Bobcats.

But just as quick as the Bulls started the match, they slowed back down, dropping the next two sets.

Offense wasn’t the issue for the Bulls. They maintained their offensive pace across the first three sets, putting down 17 and 16 kills in the second and third sets, respectively. 

But their defense let up and in the second set, the Bobcats were able to put up 16 kills, eight more than the first set. This, paired with four blocks, allowed them to squeak by the Bulls, winning the second set 26-24.

The Bobcats were limited on offense again in the third, only putting down 11 kills. However, nine attack errors by the Bulls ultimately led to UB dropping a second consecutive set 25-21 and gave the Bobcats a 2-1 set lead.

The Bulls stormed back in the fourth set. Backed by a stellar defense, which only allowed 10 kills from the Bobcats, the Bulls were able to even the match at 2-2, winning the set 25-21. 

After a back-and-forth match, the Bobcats ultimately won the fifth set 16-14. The fifth set was tied 14-14 after the Bulls came back from a 13-9 deficit. Two costly UB errors allowed the last two points for the Bobcats, and ultimately led to loss. 

Even though the Bulls lost, many players stood out. 

On the offensive end, senior Polina Prokudina led the team with 19 kills, her season high. Senior Scout McLerran put up an impressive 62 assists with only one error, a season high for her as well. On defense, sophomore Paige Beck led the team with 20 digs, followed by McLerran with 15 digs. 

The Bulls will stay at home to face Western Michigan (11-7, 2-4) on Friday. 

The sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com.