Volleyball stats rank nationally despite losses at Canisius Invitational

Alexa Girasole, Staff Writer

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The Bison volleyball team went 1-2 at the Canisius Invitational Tournament on Sept. 8-9, bringing their record to 5-4 after the first three tournaments of the season.

Despite the losing record, the Orange and Blue did have some bright spots over the course of the tournament. Blake Buchholz ’19 was selected to the All-Tournament Team after posting strong stats in all three matches. The Bison are also posting national-caliber stats early in the season; they are ranked 16th in the nation for blocks per set, with an average of 2.93. Individually, Mimi Richards ’20 ranks 9th in the nation with 1.63 blocks per set. Both the team and Richards rank first in the Patriot League for these statistics.

During the first set of the tournament against host Canisius College, the Bison raced to a quick lead and never let the Golden Griffins within four points through the entire set. Sophie Bullard ’20 had two kills and one block assist during the first 10 points of the first set.

The second set was closely contested by Canisius, but Hailey Stout ’18 and Celeste Barker ’18 had a crucial block that helped the Bison secure the set two win. Richards, Barker, and Stout all recorded double figures in kills over all three sets, and Richards recorded a team best of five blocks. Buchholz led the team defensively with 13 digs while Alexa Bonanno ’21 and Luz Nagle ’18 all recorded double digits in assists.

The Golden Griffins took the lead at the very end of the third set and seemed poised to force a fourth, but the Bison rallied to secure the 3-0 sweep with crucially-timed kills from Stout and Richards.

The Orange and Blue were not as successful in their next two matches against Eastern Washington and Charlotte.

A late rally fell short during the second match of the tournament, and the Bison were defeated by Eastern Washington 2-3. The Bison were down 0-2 but were able to tie the game at 2-2. Stout and Nagle both contributed critical plays that helped the Bison secure their second set victory. Anna Carroll ’21 clinched the set with a kill. Barker tallied seven blocks and six kills in the match. Buchholz finished with 12 kills and Brooke Stark ’20 finished with 15 digs.

Buchholz also contributed a strong performance in the third match of the weekend against Charlotte. However, the Bison struggled playing back-to-back on Sept. 9 and could not pull out a set win. Charlotte swept the Orange and Blue 3-0, dropping their weekend record to 1-2.

“This weekend, our team focused on playing together as one and playing to win. We had a great win on Friday and had some tough matches Saturday against good teams,” Bonanno said.

The Bison will finish non-conference play as they head into the Red Flash Classic on Sept. 15-16, where they will take on St. Francis, Morehead State, and Norfolk State.

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