Bengals’ serving falters, team loses fifth straight

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Dave DeLuca/The Record

Sophomore middle hitter Eimile O'Brienhad

Jacob Fyock, Reporter

The Buffalo State Bengals were looking to start off strong in their conference play after coming up short against the University of Rochester on Sept. 20.

After losing to the Yellow Jackets, Buffalo State head coach Maria DePeters knew her team was going to face three tough opponents. She planned accordingly, but the young team still ended the weekend 0-3.

“Our big thing against Rochester was that our serving broke down,” DePeters said. “We really spent two days focusing on our passing, and our passing was pretty good this weekend.”

On Friday, Buffalo State opened up the three-game weekend against Oneonta. The Bengals were coming into that game with a record of 5-9 while the Red Dragons were 2-10.

Conference games are typically competitive no matter what the teams’ overall records are. DePeters said confidence, heart and fire are key to SUNYAC victories.

“In conference matches, it might not necessarily be the best team wins,” she said. “It really comes down to the team with the most heart and most drive wins.”

Unfortunately, Buffalo State didn’t come out of the gates strong as they lost their first set, 25-19. After losing that set, DePeters felt that both the offense and defense weren’t able to stop Oneonta.

“It was lack of defense and lack of offense,” she said. “Some key players that we needed offensively did not show up, and we had a lot of offensive hitting errors.”

Midway through the second set, the Bengals took the lead and looked promising to win the frame. However, Oneonta was able to capitalize by getting on a run and cutting the deficit. The Red Dragons went on to win the second set, 25-18.

“Our setting wasn’t great this weekend and our blocking was inconsistent,” DePeters said.

The third set play was much of the same. Buffalo State was able to get the lead once again, but Oneonta was too strong for the Bengals as they came back and won, 25-20.

The Red Dragons piled up 42 kills whereas Buffalo State had 27. The Bengals only had one block throughout the match while having a .115 hitting percentage.

“Our defense, blocking and back-court defense was just not on, and Oneonta’s offense was, DePeters said. “We lost the offensive battle and the defensive battle.”

Freshman outside hitter Dana Mancuso recorded seven kills and one block. Junior middle hitter Allie Harford also had five kills while sophomore setter Katherine Marte racked up 18 assists.

On Saturday, the Bengals continued to struggle in their two matches against SUNY Cortland and Brockport. They went on to lose both of those games in straight sets.

The volleyball team is now 5-12 on the season and 0-3 in the SUNYAC conference.

The Bengals will face Hilbert College, Rochester Institute of Technology, R.I.T., and SUNY Fredonia this weekend as they participate in the Fredonia Tournament.

The Bengals are going to have to practice on the little things if they want to get back on track.

“I think now that the first half of the season is over with and the first weekend of conference is over with, the girls know where my expectations are and what I need and where we need to be to win games,” DePeters said.

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