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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

Volleyball wins last regular-season home game

The Bulls go five sets with Miami (OH) University

<p>Players stand in the middle of the court during volleyball’s senior night Saturday.</p>

Players stand in the middle of the court during volleyball’s senior night Saturday.

The UB women’s volleyball team (11-15) won its last home match of the season against Miami (OH) University (16-9) Saturday.

The Bulls defeated the No. 1 team in the MAC East in five sets (25-22, 18-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-9). It was first time Buffalo has beaten Miami (OH) since 2014, and they snapped Miami’s nine-game win streak in the process.

Buffalo started off strong with a quick 12-3 lead in the first set with the help of senior hitter Rachel Sanks. Sanks led her team in kills with a career-high 24.

“Our mindset changed mentally, we stayed in it and when we scored points it was because we earned them not because they gave them to us,” Sanks said.

Miami (OH) was able to catch up and get within 3 points until a kill from Sanks secured the first set for the Bulls.

Miami (OH) then took the second set 25-18 to tie the match at a single set each. 

The third set was closer as UB trailed by 3 points late in the set. Miami (OH) would take the set 25-23, to take a 2-1 lead. 

Back-to-back kills from senior hitter Polina Prokudina gave the Bulls a 15-11 lead in the fourth set. Buffalo later extended the lead to 23-16 and a kill from redshirt sophomore hitter Monika Simkova forced the fifth set for the Bulls.

The game came down to the fifth set. This was the 13th time this season that UB played in a five-set match. 

The Bulls came out strong with a quick 5-1 lead, which forced Miami to take an early timeout.

Miami (OH) came within one point as Buffalo led 7-6 until the Bulls scored three straight to give them a 10-6 lead. Freshman defensive specialist Jenna Sonnenberg helped secure the win for UB with 4 service aces in the game, with the last one being during match-point to defeat the Redhawks in the final set 15-9.

The last time these two teams played each other, the RedHawks defeated the Bulls in a quick three-set sweep. But the Bulls were able to put up a stronger front to help grab a win against the No. 1 team in the MAC. 

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“They've had that seed. They're the preseason favorites. Beating them is a huge boost of confidence,” said head coach Scott Smith. 

The Bulls are back in action Friday night as they head to Ohio University and then will close out their regular-season slate against Kent State Saturday evening.

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