Volleyball embraces learning curve in rebuilding season

Jacob Fyock, Reporter

The Buffalo State volleyball team lost three more matches this past weekend, extending their losing streak to 11.

Buffalo State head coach Maria DePeters said the young team has made strides of improvement, but they are not at the level that she wants them to be at.

“I think we improved from last week and two weeks ago from the last round of SUNYAC play,” she said. “We’re just not consistent enough to win sets or to win match.”

Last weekend, Buffalo State began SUNYAC play against Fredonia. Last time these teams faced each other, the Bengals lost to the Blue Devils in four sets.

“We played Fredonia last Saturday, so we knew what they were going to look like,” DePeters said. “We talk about who their big hitters are, what their weaknesses are and try to practice that.”

The Bengals started slow, getting blown out in the first set, 25-9.

In the second set, Buffalo State started to fight back by taking the lead, 14-11. The Blue Devils then got on a big run, and it eventually led them to a 25-16 win.

The Bengals won a close third set, 25-23, but Fredonia proved too much as they took the fourth set and the win.

Buffalo State ended up with 20 errors and had a .023 hitting percentage.

“We just didn’t play consistently enough to win,” DePeters said. “Our hitters were hitting most of their balls out of bounds and we were making too many errors, and that was the difference.”

Freshman outside hitter Lauren Hansen led the scoring with 12 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore setter Katherine Marte helped out with 23 assists and 8 digs.

Freshman right-side hitter and defensive specialist Hanna Cormier was the most consistent player throughout the game with 16 digs.

On Saturday, the Bengals lost to Oswego in straight sets. They also faced Potsdam and lost in four sets.

The team is now 5-18 on the season and are 0-6 in conference play. They are currently in last place in the SUNYAC standings and playoffs are out of the question.

Dealing with the loss of freshman setter Meg Brandon and being a youthful team has resulted in inconsistency.

“We’ll play one great set and then the next set, we’re just not there,” DePeters said. “We’re just not consistent across the board in all position and all areas. It’s not just one thing, it’s multiple things.”

Brandon was cleared to play last Monday. However, she is still suffering headaches and will be held out until they go away.

This week, the Bengals play Houghton on Thursday here at Buffalo State – their last home game of the season.

After that, they play at Medaille on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Then they start their third and final round of SUNYAC play.

DePeters wants to take the rest of the season one game at a time.

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