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Messages - dj_paige

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The UB volleyball season, under third year coach Blair Brown Lipsitz, begins Friday, August 25 against the Hampton Pirates at 10:00 am in Alumni Arena; continues that night at 6:30 pm against Canisius at Alumni Arena, and then on Saturday, August 26, the Bulls host Central Arkansas at 12:30 pm. Admission to the games is free.

The Bulls are coming off a disappointing season, but so are some of the other teams in the tournament. Here are last year's records and RPI for the four teams involved:

    Hampton Pirates: 6-17, 5-7, RPI 311
    Canisius Golden Griffins: 7-20, 5-13, RPI 317
    Central Arkansas Sugar Bears: 16-14, 9-7, RPI 211
    Buffalo Bulls: 4-25, 3-13, RPI 307

Given those records, the Bulls should be competitive, and could easily win a match or three this week.

Here are some things to look for in the three games:

Buffalo has seven newcomers on the roster, including redshirt freshman Lauren Slavoski who was on the team last year but didn't play due to injury. Will any of the newcomers get significant playing time? Will any of them be major contributors? Juco transfer Larra Bickelhaupt played libero for the Bulls in their spring matches, and I expect her to play regularly this weekend. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine.

Buffalo struggled with serve receive last year, although they got better towards the end of the season. This will be an important area for the Bulls, they need to perform well at this skill.

Partly as a result of the serve receive weakness, and partly for other reasons, Buffalo's outside hitters fared poorly last year, with none of them hitting above 0.111. Buffalo needs more productivity from that position.

My season preview for UB Volleyball:

Famous graduates from the other schools: Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen went to Central Arkansas. Educator and author Booker T. Washington attended Hampton University. Food Network chef and host Anne Burrell attended Canisius.

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