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Errors costly in UB volleyball's 3-0 loss to Ball State

UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO ATHLETICS

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to MAC West-leading Ball State on Saturday evening as the Bulls recorded 23 hitting errors and seven errors at the service line, which led to their undoing.  The loss drops UB to 10-8 on the year and 2-4 in the MAC. 
The Cardinals took the contest 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 as Ball State outhit the Bulls .231 to .207.  UB held a number of statistical advantages with a 47-39 edge in kills and ad 53-52 edge in total points, but it was the errors the were the deciding factor in the contest.
The Bulls got out to a quick lead in the first set as UB rolled to the 12-3 advantage following a kill from junior Polina Prokudina.  However, Ball State answered with a 12-1 run, taking the lead.  The Bulls would come back and tie the set up at 19-19, but then the Cardinals scored three straight to go ahead 22-19.  UB tied the set back up at 23-23 late following a block from Rachel Sanks and Kristina Nieves, but BSU scored the final two points to clinch the set.
The second set was tight for the first half as the teams were tied 14-14 midway through.  The teams remained tied at 21-21 after a kill from senior Megan Wernette, but Ball State scored the next three points en route to the 25-22 win.
In the third set, the Bulls looked like they were going to come away with a win as a Ball State attack error gave UB an 18-14 lead, forcing a Cardinals timeout.  Out of the break, Ball State scored four straight to tie the set up.  UB went back ahead 21-10, but Ball State scored the next three to take the 23-21 lead.  UB would get back within one at 24-23, however Ball State was able to clinch the match on a kill from Reece Kral.
Sophomore Andrea Mitrovic led all players with 19 kills in the three set contest, while Sanks also finished in double figures with 10 kills, hitting a team-high .389.  Wernette had eight kills on the night and Prokudina added six.
Junior Scout McLerran dished out 39 assists to go along with two kills, an aces, and six digs.
Defensively, senior Larra Bickelhaupt finished with a team-high 11 digs, while freshman Paige Beck added eight.  Nieves led the UB blocking attack with three, including one solo.
The Bulls will return to road next weekend, beginning on Friday night at Western Michigan.