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Courtesy: John Torre

Broncos Shut Down Buffalo in MAC Clash

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 10/13/2012
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan volleyball team survived a tight first set against a conference opponent, and the Broncos romped in their final two sets in defeating the Buffalo Bulls 3-0 (26-24, 25-14, 25-15) at University Arena on Saturday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 13-8 overall, 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference.

The Broncos controlled things defensively against the Bulls, out-digging them 62-46 and holding Buffalo to a .099 hitting percentage. Lena Oliver recorded a match-high 21 digs, with Kaycee Acree recording 13 digs and Caroline Rose 12 digs. Jessica Brown recorded 11 kills on 23 swings for a .304 hitting percentage, and Stephenee Yancy had 10 kills with no errors for a .500 hitting percentage.

The Broncos won both the second and third sets of the matches by double digits, but the first set provided enough drama for the entire match. The Bulls built themselves an impressive advantage in the first set, leading by as many as six points and eventually taking a 24-19 lead. A service error by Buffalo would open the door for a comeback just a crack, and Brown would rip a kill through the blockers on the right side to pull her team within 24-21.

A Bulls attack error cut the lead to just two points, and Brown recorded a kill on the next point to make it just a one-point set. Gillian Asque went off the block to tie the set at 24, and Ali Gossen gave the Broncos their first lead since they held a 9-8 advantage with a service ace off Dana Musil. Setter Terin Norris unleashed a swing to record a kill, capping a 7-0 run and giving the Broncos a dramatic 26-24 set victory.

The comeback seemed to rejuvenate the Broncos, while at the same time sucking the wind from the sails of the Bulls.The Broncos were in firm control of the rest of the match, starting with a sharply-played second set. Yancy and Carlee Berland notched kills on the first two points of the set to give the Broncos the lead for good in the second set, and WMU capped a set-opening 10-6 run with another kill from Berland. WMU went on a short 4-0 run in the middle of the set, with Berland bookending the run with a kill and a solo block, respectively, and making it 18-7. Asque pushed one through the block in the middle late in the set to give the Broncos a 24-14 lead, and Brown finished the Bulls off with a kill on the next point.

Buffalo held tight through the first nine points of the third set, but the Broncos embarked on an 11-2 run early in the set to create the necessary distance to close out the match. A series of Bulls errors gave the Broncos an 8-4 lead, and the Broncos build a 10-5 lead when Berland recorded a kill. Norris and Yancy recorded a block to make the score 12-6, and Norris would record a dump kill on the next point to force a Buffalo timeout.The lead reached double-digits on a kill from Asque that made it 22-12, and Berland delivered the kill shot with a cross court kill at 25-15.

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