Women’s volleyball (5-4) went 2-1 this weekend at the WNY Invite at Alumni Arena.
UB dominated the Duquesne Dukes (4-5) in a 3-0 victory Friday night but split its Saturday action against the Canisius Golden Griffins (0-9) and the West Virginia Mountaineers (8-0). The Bulls defeated Canisius, 3-0, but fell to West Virginia, 3-1.
On Friday, the Bulls took the lead early, hitting .478 in the first set with 12 kills and only one error against Duquesne. Sophomore middle blocker Olivia DeBortoli recorded four blocks while freshman defensive specialist Hannah Jacoby recorded four of the Bulls’ five aces.
UB took the contest 25-13, 25-18, 25-13 and out-hit the Dukes .257 to .030.
Sophomore right side hitter Emma Gielas led the team with 10 kills, while DeBortoli led the team with seven blocks. Freshman setter Mandy Leigh posted an impressive 27 assists.
The next day, the Bulls faced undefeated West Virginia. UB fell to the Mountaineers in four sets, but became just the second team to force a fourth set against West Virginia all season.
West Virginia took the first two sets to jump out to an early 2-0 lead, but UB fought hard in the third, taking a 12-9 lead after a strong start from DeBortoli and sophomore outside hitter Milla Malik. A pair of kills each from sophomore outside hitter Stacia Gollogly and freshman outside hitter Maria Futey sealed the third set for the Bulls, 25-22.
West Virginia took the final set after a late 13-4 run, winning 25-23, 25-15, 22-25, 25-21 and out-hitting UB .258 to .176.
Futey led the Bulls with 14 kills, two aces and one block while junior middle blocker Courtney Okwara recorded an impressive five blocks and six kills.
Later that night, UB dominated the first two sets against Canisius, with the Golden Griffins’ only lead being a short 2-0 burst at the start of the second set. The third set was the toughest for the Bulls, as they found themselves down 19-18 late but kills from DeBortoli and Gileas sealed the match.
UB won the match 25-10, 25-21, 25-21 and hit .316 opposed to just .196 for Canisius. Despite recording more errors and the same number of blocks as the Golden Griffins, the Bulls dominated in every other facet of the match.
Leigh accounted for 36 of the Bulls’ 44 assists and three of the club’s five aces while Malik led the squad with 17 kills. Jacoby finished the match with 17 digs, which earned her a spot in the All-Tournament Team Honors discussion.
The Bulls will travel to Norfolk, VA next weekend for the Old Dominion Invite. UB will face Norfolk State at 10 a.m. and Old Dominion at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by a Saturday game at 10 a.m. against Radford.
Hunter Skoczylas is the assistant sports editor for The Spectrum and can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @HunterSkoczylas
Hunter Skoczylas is the sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found looking up random sports statistics, jamming to Fleetwood Mac and dedicating his Sunday afternoons to watching the Buffalo Bills.