Women’s volleyball emerges victorious over Medaille


Buffalo State Sports Information

Maria Roberts, who enters her eighth season as head coach of the Volleyball team, is the program’s longest tenured coach

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Following a underwhelming start to the season, the Buffalo State women’s volleyball team continued its road trip as the Bengals traveled to crosstown rival college Medaille to play at the Sullivan Center Wednesday evening.

The Bengals (2-2 overall, 0-0 SUNYAC) headed in to face the win-less Mavericks came into the game after they struggled mightily in the Sea Gull Classic in Maryland last weekend.

It was the Bengals who emerged as the victors in this contest by winning 3-2. But, the victory appeared bleak at several moments throughout this match.

In an exciting and fast-paced opening set, Buffalo State got the jump on Medaille taking it, 25-21. It appeared as if Buffalo State came out a bit sluggish to follow the first set and the Bengals found themselves down by a score of 15-9. Regaining their composure, the Bengals went on 6-0 run with the help of sophomore Hannah Cormier, who recorded three service aces in that span.

Medaille fired back from the rally to win its first set of the season against Buffalo State, 22-25. In the third set, Buffalo State continued to struggle, falling 25-17.

Even though they were trailing 2-1 heading into the fourth set, the Bengals remained calm and upbeat.

“Our bench really helped pick us up,” sophomore Eimile O’Brien said. “We knew we were going to have to fight really hard.”

In the fourth set, the Mavericks looked to close the door on the Bengals and take the win. However, the Bengals had reservations to stay until the fifth set as they fought their way to win in a tightly contested 25-22 set.

Bengals head coach Maria Roberts was pleased — but not ecstatic — of the team’s ability to overcome the adversity of falling behind 2-1.

“They handled it well because we came back and we won. They knew we could be better than what we were,” Roberts said. “It could have been better. We relied a little too much on Medaille’s unforced errors. So, they handled it all right, but it could have been better.”

In a blow-for-blow contest, the fifth, deciding set saw 11 ties and no lead larger than two by either side. With relentless offense led by sophomore Lauren Hansen and stout defense from classmate Brittney Valentine, the Bengals squeaked out a 17-15 win the fifth set to take the match.

Hansen, who had 10 attacks in the fifth set, finished with 47 in the match. Valentine totaled 18 digs for Buff State.

Knowing how crucial of a win this was for Buffalo State, it came as a huge relief and confidence booster going forward, according to O’Brien.

“We needed this bad,” O’Brien stated. “We have had a few practices that were a little shaky but this win is exactly what we needed.”

Roberts plans on using this game as a meter of how her team should perform going forward. The high intensity of this game along with the experience gained will only propel the Bengals to more success.

“All of our conference games are high intensity so we have to learn how to play in it,” Roberts said. “There are a lot of teams of this caliber in our conference that we need to learn how to play against.”

Buffalo State will face Mount Union in Berea, Ohio on Friday at 5:30 p.m.