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Bulls volleyball head south for Arkansas Classic

UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO ATHLETICS

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo volleyball team will take their 5-1 record down to Arkansas this weekend for the Arkansas Classic.  There will be some stout competition that includes Arkansas, Northwestern, and Butler. 

The Bulls won two of their three matches last weekend in Cornell, defeating St. John's of the Big East and Siena.  UB is led by junior Polina Prokudina and sophomore Andrea Mitrovic, who have 72 and 67 kills on the season, respectively.  Junior Scout McLerran continues to lead the MAC as she is averaging 10.17 assists per set, while senior Larra Bickelhaupt has 87 digs.
Buffalo is currently tied for 17th nationally in service aces per set, averaging 2.00.  Bickelhaupt leads the way with 11 on the year through six matches, while freshman Paige Beck has added 10.  In the blocking department, the Bulls are averaging 2.54 per set, led by 24 from senior Megan Wernette and 23 from junior Kristina Nieves.
The Bulls will open the weekend facing Big Ten foe Northwestern on Friday evening at 6:00 pm ET.  Like the Bulls, the Wildcats are 5-1 on the season with their lone loss coming against Princeton.  Nia Robinson leads Northwestern with 80 kills on the year, while Sarah Johnson has a team-high 86 digs.
Buffalo will then play two matches on Saturday, beginning with the host team the Arkansas Razorbacks.  That match will begin at 1:00 pm ET and it will air live on SECN+. Arkansas is 3-2 on the year, but has played a tough schedule to date.  They split a season-opening series with Kansas, winning on the road in Lawrence.  Most recently, Arkansas dropped a 3-0 decision to #3 Minnesota. Hailey Dirrigl leads Arkansas with 66 kills and Okiana Valle is the team's leading digger with 85.
UB closes out the weekend at 6:00pm ET when the Bulls face the Butler Bulldogs, the third straight weekend Buffalo will meet a program from the Big East. The Bulldogs are just 1-5 on the year, but have lost to two nationally-ranked programs in Pittsburgh and Cal Poly, while also dropping a 3-0 decision to Auburn.  Butler's lone victory came against Eastern Illinois. Natalie Ravenell leads Butler with 55 kills, while Elizabeth Labue has 40 digs.
All three matches will have live stats with links found at UBBulls.com.  The match against Arkansas is the only one that will have live video.