Women’s Volleyball falls to SUNY Cortland in return to Sports Arena, 3-1

Back in their real home trying to turn their season around, the Buffalo State women’s volleyball team opened their weekend of SUNYAC play against SUNY Cortland on Friday night.

The Bengals 5-18 overall (1-6 SUNYAC) christened the renovated Sports Arena and tried to snap a two-game losing streak versus the Red Dragons (10-13 overall, 3-4 SUNYAC) who look to be in mid-season form.

Unfortunately for the Bengals, a warm welcome back into the Sports Arena was not in the cards for them as they would suffer a tough 3-1 loss.

“It’s great, I loved it,” said Buffalo State head coach Maria Roberts regarding being back inside the Sports Arena. “We finally had space to move and have pursuits on the ball and the girls love it in here, this is home to them and we are really happy to be back.”

There were key opportunities for Buffalo State to take control of this game but they would be unable to capitalize.

The first set was crippling for Buffalo State as they had battled relentlessly only to fall just short of an opening set victory, 27-25.

The second set proved to be the deciding factor in determining which side would emerge with the victory at the end of the night. After getting off to a commanding 18-10 lead in the set, Buffalo State would soon let the Red Dragons spark a comeback. The comeback was completed when the Cortland tied the set at 22. The Red Dragons would go on to gain the last three-points and go up 2-0 heading into the third set.

Falling behind two sets was an uphill battle that proved to be daunting for Buffalo State, but the Bengals used the energy of the Sports Arena to climb back into the game and take the third set, 25-22.

Allie Harford, who was honored before the game as the lone senior representative for the Buffalo State, added 4.5 points, five digs, and a solo block for the Bengals.

“It stinks that we lost on her (Harford’s) senior game, but she played really well,” Roberts added. “She has improved so much, and the past month she has really came out of her shell by being aggressive and working hard on her blocking.”

With the Bengals heading into the fourth set after a tough fought third, the pressure was on to extend the game into a deciding fifth set. The Bengals would jump out to a quick 6-2 lead but Cortland would storm back to take a 7-6 lead. The fourth set saw a total of six lead changes and five instances where the score was all knotted up. Tied at 10, Cortland would use a 9-3 run to create separation from the Bengals and all but solidify the match, closing out the set and match with a decisive 25-19 victory.

Although the loss was hard for Buffalo State to take moving forward, they got a very welcoming and exciting performance out of freshman setter Tyler Reis. Reis was responsible for 39 of the Bengals’ 40 assists on the night.

“Tyler Reis did a really good job at running the offense, and going into the future she is going to be our starting setter,” Roberts stated.

With certain players performing and improving greatly as the season progresses, the Bengals look forward to converting those performances into team victories.

Buffalo State will continue their play at the Sports Arena tomorrow as they take on SUNYAC opponents Brockport college at 12 p.m. and SUNY Potsdam at 2:30 p.m.