UR Volleyball (URVB) had an inconsistent week, shutting out Buffalo State University 3–0 in the Louis Alexander Palestra on Tuesday, falling to Clarkson in a tough match on the road on Friday, and besting Williams handily on Saturday. The Yellowjackets are now 10–5 on the season.

On Tuesday, the Jackets came out of the gate fast in front of a small but enthusiastic midweek crowd. Led by three kills from sophomore middle blocker Clara Martinez, URVB overwhelmed the Bengals lineup in a first-set 10–0 run. Buffalo State’s inexperience proved costly early: the team, composed mostly of freshman, posted 11 errors in the first set, allowing UR to take it easily, 25–10.

In the second, it was the Yellowjackets who were plagued by errors, at one point trailing the Bengals 21–24 before driving for five straight points to clinch the set.

“We tried some different line-ups, and we were able to adjust and come back in the second game,” said Clara Martinez, the former D-I middle blocker who ended the second set with two straight kills.

Martinez’ play in the match was representative of the entire team’s: often dominating, but seldom error-free.

“I want to work on being a smarter hitter, making less errors, and waiting an extra second when hitting in the pins,” Martinez said.

While URVB registered 16 errors—two less than Buffalo State—the Jackets’ blockers dominated throughout. Five players for the Jackets’ each contributed at least four kills in the match.

Led by sophomore outside hitter Alara Kocak’s four kills, the ‘Jackets went on to take the third set easily, 25–17.

“We played better together as a team than we’ve played all season,” head coach Ladi Iya said. “We tried out some new lineups and we embraced the change and had some people step up and make plays.”

“We need to work on being more terminal with our swings so as not to get into long rallies,” she continued. Ultimately volleyball is about the serve and pass game and we are continually striving to elevate our level of serving and serve receive.”

On Friday, UR traveled to Fordham, NY to face a more evenly-matched Clarkson University (10–4).

The two teams split the first two sets in polar performances: Clarkson’s defense suffocated URVB in the first, while UR came out on the attack in the second, posting a .333 hitting percentage, the highest of any game of the night.

The Jackets’ failed to recover from errors in the third, and despite limiting Clarkson to just a .109 hitting percentage overall, the Jackets’ fell in the fourth set 25–23, giving Clarkson the 3–1 win.

Senior middle blocker Alexandra Goldman finished with a team-leading .417 hit percentage, and Martinez contributed nine blocks.

Iya, in her fourth season coaching at the University, emphasized that while the chemistry of the 2016 lineup is building, the team has room for improvement before the start of UAA conference play in October.

“Our defensive game—in terms of outplaying our opponents and covering our attackers—needs to be more consistent,” Iya said.

The team ended the trip to the North Country on a positive note, sweeping a struggling Willams College (4–6) squad in confidence-boosting fashion 3–0 on Saturday afternoon.

The ‘Jackets improved to 10–5 overall, putting them fifth in a talented UAA that has been largely successful in pre-conference play. The team will come home to play one more match—a rivalry game against RIT on Wednesday—before the first UAA Round Robin in Pittsburgh next weekend.



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