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Miami volleyball fights to the end against Buffalo but drops both games on the road

<p>Miami volleyball has three games remaining in its 2023 season.</p>

Miami volleyball has three games remaining in its 2023 season.

For the Miami University volleyball team, this year has been a struggle. 

The RedHawks have played some very tight matches in a very difficult conference, and so far, they have just one win in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) games this season.

This same theme played out during the trip over to Buffalo this weekend, as the RedHawks faced off for two games versus their conference rivals, the University at Buffalo Bulls.

Before Friday’s matchup, the Bulls were 22-5 this year, first in the MAC-East Division. 

Miami attempted to upset Buffalo on the road on Friday, but the RedHawks ended up falling 3-0 to the Bulls.

It was a tight first matchup between these teams, as two of the three sets were decided by six points. 

The Bulls started off the first set a little sluggish, but they picked it up and finished strong, winning 25-19. They dominated the RedHawks in the second set as well, winning 25-13 to take a commanding 2-0 set lead. 

The Redhawks needed to rally in order to force a fourth set, but the Bulls won 25-19 in a close final set to win the day 3-0. 

Sophomore outside hitter Ellie Hanson, who had a team high of 12 kills, was a top performer for Miami in game one. Sophomore setter Hayden Hicks also played a crucial part, adding 25 assists. Sophomore libero Emily Morgan had eight digs against a brutal attack. 

Match two on Saturday night also didn’t go Miami’s way, with the Bulls winning 3-0. It was a less comfortable win for Buffalo, despite the final score.

The RedHawks and the Bulls went back and forth during the first two sets, but both ended Buffalo’s way, 25-23. In set three, Miami lost 25-17, and the RedHawks were officially swept on the weekend. 

For the RedHawks, Hanson led both teams in kills with 12 and aces with two. Senior middle-hitter Maggie McCrary had a game-high of three blocks. Hicks also had another excellent contest, with a team-high of 33 assists.

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After getting swept at Buffalo, the RedHawks have fallen to 5-22 overall and 1-14 in conference play.

The RedHawks have three remaining games on the 2023 calendar, two of which are at home next against the Akron Zips. The RedHawks and the Zips will battle it out at Millett Hall on Friday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m.

The Saturday game will be Miami volleyball head coach Carolyn Condit’s final game at home after 40 years with the program. She announced her retirement on Friday.

The RedHawks will hope to use this motivation to their advantage as they try to end the season and Condit’s career at Millett Hall with wins over the Zips.