The Butler women’s volleyball team will begin Horizon League play this week after hosting a four-team inviational last weekend.
The pre-conference invitational was Butler’s first in four years. The team finished second in their tournament after two 3-0 wins over UNC-Wilmington and Army and a 3-2 loss to tournament champion Xavier.
“It was great after all the travel to just be able to go to class and then walk over to Hinkle for our game,” freshman outside hitter Maggie Harbison said.
The Bulldogs (4-6) didn’t disappoint the volleyball crowds in Hinkle throughout the day.
Beginning the tournament with a match against UNC-Wilmington (3-7) on friday afternoon.
Butler won the first set 25-14.
Butler finished the second set, winning 18 of the final 20 points to take it 25-6.
The Bulldogs finished off the match with a 25-17 win in the third set as senior Jalesa Lee capped off the match with two kills.
The Bulldogs racked up 19 kills during the final set against UNC-Wilmington.
“Its so nice to get a big win,” Harbison said. “I think we’re starting to feel more confident on the court.”
Butler continued their winning ways against Army (4-7) that evening.
In front of over 1,000 fans packed into Hinkle for the Butler Invitational All-American Night, the Bulldogs completed a perfect day, defeating the Black Knights 3-0.
Butler jumped to a quick lead, going up 13-2 in the first game behind Lee’s strong serving.
Army was only able to trade points from that point on, and Butler won the set 25-14.
In the second game, after grabbing a 21-17 lead, Butler allowed the Black Knights to tie the match at 23-23. Neither team could break the deadlock until Butler finally strung together two points to win the game at 32-30.
The Bulldogs took the third set 25-17 to clinch the match.
In the final match of the tournament, the Bulldogs took on Xavier (5-4) for the tournament title. The Bulldogs won sets one and three 25-19, but dropped the second 25-16.
Butler couldn’t hang on to a lead or sustain things in the fourth set and, after being tied at 16, lost 25-19.
Xavier closed the match 15-6 in the final set and seal the tournament win.
Senior Jessie Wolfe and junior Maureen Bamiro were named to the all-tournament team. The pair combined for 62 kills during the weekend.
Wolfe is ranked 35th in the nation in kills per set (4.14) and 52nd in points per set (4.53).
Butler’s first two league foes will be Loyola and Valparaiso.
“It all starts this weekend, this is serious,” Harbison said.