Volleyball sweeps Northern Illinois

UB volleyball dominates in three sets to cap off a winning week


The Bulls volleyball team (7-13) won its second home game of the week Saturday against the Northern Illinois Huskies (6-16).

The Bulls showed their skills in three quick sets (25-20, 25-17, 25-15) to bring home the win against the higher-ranked Huskies. Illinois struggled to gain traction against Buffalo’s powerful offensive front throughout the match. 

Senior outside hitter Rachel Sanks led her team in kills with 13 for the night, making up a third of the Bulls’ total kills. She credits her team’s collective effort for her success. 

“I really just feed off of their energy,” Sanks said. “Our passers were amazing, Scout [McLerran] was setting me perfect balls. I really just think the energy was the difference tonight.”

Senior outside hitter Polina Prokudina closely followed Sanks in attacks for the night with nine kills. Senior setter McLerran orchestrated the offense and put up 33 assists. 

The Bulls often capitalized off the Huskies’ mistakes, which contributed 20 errors on attack attempts alone compared to the Bulls’ offense which recorded only 9 attack errors for the night. 

UB topped off an amazing game with its determined defense. Ten blocks from the Bulls suffocated the Huskies’ offense and when they did manage to get through the block, UB’s back row was right there for backup and finished the match with 22 total digs. 

Despite a great win, the Bulls still made errors. They struggled with serving and had 10 errors from behind the line compared to just six from Illinois. 

“We still keep talking about our serving,” head coach Scott Smith said. “Our serving and our blocking are really connected. When we serve well, we block well so we’ll continue focusing on that.” 

This win, along with Thursday’s thrilling five-set win, were much needed for the struggling Bulls, as they mark the team’s first wins following a four-game losing streak. 

“We focused on just a few things we knew we could get better at immediately: transition offense, coverage and first-contact on the ball. We’ve been really focusing on that the last two weeks of practice,” Smith says. 

The Bulls hope to continue this momentum as they play on the road against Eastern Michigan (7-13) this Thursday. 

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