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Sunday, December 03, 2023
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Volleyball suffers first conference loss

UB fell to Ohio on Friday night, its first MAC loss and first loss at home this season

<p>Courtney Okwara goes for the kill in this past weekend's game against Ohio University.</p>

Courtney Okwara goes for the kill in this past weekend's game against Ohio University.

This past weekend, the UB women’s volleyball team played the Ohio Bobcats (8-9, 3-2 MAC), losing on Friday 3-0, but bouncing back Saturday to win 3-1, improving to 13-3 (3-1 MAC). 

Friday's loss was the first the Bulls have suffered at home this season after winning their last three home games, giving them a 4-1 record at home. It was also UB’s first loss in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) after sweeping Kent State last week to open MAC play.

In set one on Friday, the Bulls found themselves down 16-12 after four errors were committed in a row, causing head coach Scott Smith to call a timeout. After this timeout, the Bulls went on a three-point run to bring the deficit down to 18-15. 

Despite losing 25-23, UB’s run to bring it within two was a whole team effort. Junior setter Mandy Leigh, fifth-year middle/outside Abby Leigh, fifth-year middle Courtney Okwara, senior outside Katrin Trebichavska, senior right-side Emma Gielas, freshman outside Manoela Forlin, and junior libero Maria Futey all stood out in this first set.

More specifically, Gielas had 12 kills and two blocks, Trebichavska had 12 kills and one ace, and Forlin had six kills, one ace, and eight digs. Mandy Leigh had 38 assists while tallying seven digs on the defensive side of things.

As for defense, the Bulls once again held a block party registering 10 blocks, five coming from Abby Leigh, three from Okwara, and two from Gielas. Most notably, Okwara got two kills late in the first set in order to tie the set 21-21 before the eventual loss. Libero Maria Futey logged 13 digs, two being pancakes as she also managed to get one assist. 

In Saturday's game, it was back to usual for UB as the Bulls won 3-1 by scores of 28-26, 18-25, 25-15, and 25-14. The first two sets were the only troublesome ones as they went to 28 points in the first and lost the second by seven points.

This performance starred Trebichavska, Mandy Leigh, Futey, and Julianna Lopez. Trebichavska had 15 kills, one ace, and even tallied two blocks for an all-around great game. Mandy Leigh continued to shine as she had 40 assists, seven digs, and one assist, Lopez tallied 10 digs and three assists, and Futey logged 13 more digs and three assists.

Forlin and Abby Leigh also contributed as Forlin had 11 kills and Abby Leigh had nine kills and nine blocks, a season-high for Leigh. Courtney Okwara picked up five blocks, 

The Bulls continue MAC play this Thursday evening at Alumni Arena against Central Michigan (8-9, 2-3 MAC) starting at 6 p.m. 

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