The Big 4 volleyball season opens on Friday with two teams competing in the Buffalo Invite at Alumni Arena.
Host University at Buffalo will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, hosting Hampton. Canisius follows that with a noon match against Central Arkansas.
Canisius and UB meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday in a match that will be streamed live on ESPN3. The Golden Griffins went 7-20 last year in the first season for coach Lenika Vazquez. The Griffs return their setter Cassidy Ceriani, who earned postseason honors in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference last year.
UB is led by senior Cassie Shado, who was named to the All-Mid-American Conference East Division preseason first team. Sophomore setter Scout McLerran was named to the All-Freshman team last year.
The tournament ends on Saturday with Canisius playing Hampton at 10 a.m. with the Bulls facing Central Arkansas at 12:30 p.m.
Niagara and St. Bonaventure will clash at Monteagle Ridge at 7 p.m. Friday with both teams looking for their first wins of the season. Niagara opened with a 2-0 loss to Michigan State in East Lansing while the Bonnies are 0-2 after losses at Binghamton (2-1) and at Youngstown State (1-0).
The season opens for men's soccer with all three local Division I teams on the road.
Canisius will play at Stony Brook at 7 p.m. The Griffs return nine starters from a 2016 team that matched the program mark for wins in a season with nine and advanced to the MAAC Tournament semifinal round for the first time since 2007.
Niagara travels to Nashville, Tenn., for the Lipscomb/Belmont Challenge. The Purple Eagles open at 8 p.m. Friday against Lipscomb and play Belmont at 2 p.m. Saturday. Last year, Niagara went 4-11-2 under first-year head coach Bill Boyle.
St. Bonaventure opens at Bucknell at 7 p.m. The Bonnies were one of the most improved teams in the Atlantic 10 last year, going 3-4-1 in league play in 2016 after a 1-7 mark in 2015.