WASHINGTON, DC – The University at Buffalo volleyball team will head to Washington, DC this weekend for the American Volleyball Classic, the final three matches before MAC play starts next week. The Bulls will face three teams that advanced to the postseason last year in American, Howard, and nationally-ranked Penn State.
The Bulls enter the weekend with a 6-3 record following a five-set come from behind win over Butler last weekend in Arkansas. It was the third straight week that Buffalo defeated an opponent from the Big East. Following the weekend, the Bulls swept the MAC awards as sophomore Andrea Mitrovic was named the MAC East Offensive Player of the Week, while junior Kristina Nieves was named the defensive player of the week and sophomore Tia Gleason was named the league's setter of the week.
The Bulls will begin the weekend by facing American on Friday night at 7pm. The Eagles are 4-7 on the year, but have played a tough schedule that saw them face Kansas and Auburn last weekend. Earlier this season, American also hosted nationally-ranked Stanford. Aleksandra Kazala leads American with 123 kills, while Helena Elbaek adds 84. Kennedy Etheridge is the team's leading setter with 309 assists and Kristen Largay leads the group with 159 digs.
Buffalo will then play two matches on Saturday, beginning at 1:30 pm against Penn State, who is currently ranked #5 nationally. It will be a familiar site for Buffalo head coach Blair Brown Lipsitz, who was a four-time national champion as a player at Penn State. This will be the second time Lipsitz coaches against her alma mater as she coached her first ever match against them in 2015.
Penn State is 6-1 on the year with their only loss coming at nationally-ranked Stanford last Friday. The Nittany Lions have a balanced attack, led by Nia Reed, who has 66 kills on the year and Taylor Leath, who adds 59. Bryanna Weiskircher leads Penn State with 203 assists and Kendall White has a team-high 113 digs.
UB will conclude the weekend on Saturday at 4:30 pm against Howard. The Bison won the MEAC Championship last year and took a set off of Penn State in the NCAA Tournament. This year, Howard is 5-5 on the year, but is coming off three straight losses at the Rutgers Invitational. Howard is led by Jurnee Tipton, who has 102 kills on the year and Marcelle Butler, who adds 87. Tamia Dockery has a team-high 322 assists, while Fola Wilson leads them with 144 digs.
There will be live stats for all three matches and those links can be found at UBBulls.com.