Volleyball Drubs Buffalo 3-0 on the Road
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Western Michigan volleyball team completed its second 3-0 sweep in as many evenings on Saturday, defeating the Buffalo Bulls 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-20) on the road in a Mid-American Conference match-up. With the win, the Broncos improve to 12-9 on the season, 5-3 in MAC play. The win also marks the 100th MAC win in the career of Colleen Munson; only Ohio has won more MAC matches than Western Michigan took the reins in 2005.
Freshman Alysia Baznik posted a career- and match-high 14 kills to go along with seven kills, and senior Rachel Sheffer added 11 kills while hitting .423 in the Broncos' win. Senior Lena Oliver added a match-high 21 digs, and setter Lexie Pawlik contributed 43 assists as the Broncos hit .269 as a team, and held the Bulls to just a .183 hitting percentage. Caroline Rose also added double-digit digs, recording 11 in limited time.
The Broncos' assault began in the first set, when Kaycee Acree notched a service ace to give WMU a 3-2 lead. Baznik added to that lead with a kill to make it 4-2, and the Broncos were the first to 10 points when Dani Reinert's attack went awry and gave a point to the Broncos. Rachel Sheffer made the Broncos the first to 15 points with a kill, and Claire Gerwig made the Broncos first to 20 when her kill gave WMU a 20-16 edge over the Bulls. Baznik ended the set for the Broncos with a well-timed kill, smashing a set from Pawlik to give WMU a 25-20 win in the first set.
The second set began much like the first, with Lexie Pawlik's setter-kill giving the Broncos a lead at 3-2 that they would never relinquish. The Broncos snapped another deadlock when Sheffer ripped a kill to make it 8-7, and the Broncos were the first to 10 points when Pawlik recorded another kill to make it 10-7. Sheffer and Richelle Ranney added kills on back-to-back points to give the Broncos a 17-12 lead, and WMU was the first to 20 points when Pawlik recorded yet another kill to make it 20-18. Baznik iced the set with one final kill, knocking a shot down to make it 25-18 and take a 2-0 lead on Buffalo.
The Buffalo Bulls actually took an advantage in the third set, though, with the Broncos taking advantage of Buffalo's disorganization to seal the win. WMU started off the third set 4-1, with Sheffer, Pawlik and Ave Stout adding kills to give WMU a 4-1 lead. Ranney added a kill to make it 8-3 and force Buffalo into their second timeout, but Buffalo tied it at 10-10 on a serviced ace from Buffalo's Taylor Prichett. WMU fought back and tied the set at 14, and ultimately took the lead on 15-14 on an attack error from Buffalo. Baznik and Stephenee Yancy gave WMU a 20-19 lead late in the match, and the Broncos closed on a 7-1 run, winning the set and the match on a Baznik kill.