After a challenging weekend at last weekend’s University Athletic Association Round Robin Tournament at Case Western Reserve University, the UR volleyball team bounced back to defeat the Buffalo State College Bengals 3-0 Tuesday night despite missing their starting setter due to injury.

The first opponent the Yellowjackets faced while in Cleveland was the host school, Case Western, whom they swept, 30-19, 30-21 and 30-25 using the starters as well as a good portion of the bench.

However, the Yellowjackets could not quite match up to No. 3 Emory University, and fell to the Eagles 30-21, 30-16 and 30-20.

The final match of the weekend was against No. 6 New York University. The Yellowjackets took the first game from the Violets 31-29, the only game NYU dropped the entire weekend, but ended up losing the last three games and the match 30-22, 30-19 and 30-26.

Junior captain Susan Johnson led the team in kills and digs, with 55 and 50 respectively, and tied senior Kate Czarniak for second in blocks with seven.

Czarniak also added 17 kills and eight aces of her own. Senior Haley Massa led the team in blocks with 12 and also had 11 kills.

Sophomore Jessica Sorrentino added 11 more kills to the mix as well as a team-high 43 digs.

Junior Sam Carr assisted on 87 of the team’s kills as well as digging out 36 of the opponents’ hits.

After a weekend full of more-than-challenging opponents, the team then pulled out a decisive win over the Bengals Tuesday night. Senior Julie Mihalek saw her first games as the starting setter, as Carr was out with an injury.

“Julie has seen game time at right-side hitter, and during practice she plays setter for one team [while Carr sets for the other],” head coach Linda Downey said. “She did a very good job stepping up [in Carr’s absence].”

From the beginning of the match, it was clear that UR was the better team, with the Bengals looking disorganized.

UR’s usual huge presence at the net and consistent ability to get the ball back with kills gave them an easy win 30-16, 30-19 and 30-9. Most of the bench made appearances in the match in addition to the starters.

Mihalek notched 35 assists in the match in addition to 10 digs and three aces. Czarniak led the team in kills with 10 and also had two blocks and three aces. Sophomore Kaitlyn Gorczynski added 12 digs while freshman Jessica Rassmussen had six kills.

Johnson was again a big contributor, killing nine and digging out 21. She was also named the New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletic Association Volleyball Player of the week for her 79 kills, 71 digs, 3 aces and 8 blocks in her four matches last week.

This Saturday, the 14-7 Yellowjackets will make the trek to Elmira College.

Winn can be reached at

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