After losing two matches this past weekend and falling to 5-12 on the season, the Butler volleyball team is searching for answers.
Hurt by unforced errors, the young Bulldogs (6-12, 2-4) cannot seem to string together enough wins to get themselves back on track.
“This season is just a lot different,” sophomore outside hitter Maggie Harbison said. “We’re still trying to figure out who the leaders are, and everyone is taking on different roles.”
On Saturday against Valparaiso, the Bulldogs’ youth was apparent.
The Crusaders (13-6, 4-1) narrowly took the first set 25-21, but the Bulldogs came back and won the second set.
Valparaiso came out of the break strong and cruised to win the third and fourth sets.
Middle back Maureen Bamiro, the only senior on this year’s Butler squad, led the Bulldogs with 10 kills. Harbison added nine kills and five blocks.
“On the stat sheet, we beat them, but unforced errors really hurt us,” Harbison said. “Our second game should be more of a rivalry, and we’re getting better with every game.”
Earlier in the weekend, the Bulldogs visited Chicago to take on the Illinois-Chicago Flames.
Amid a hostile crowd in a packed gym, the Bulldogs were able to push the Flames (11-5, 4-1) to a fifth set but dropped it and the match on a missed serve.
“It was a very emotional and intense game,” junior setter Gina Vera said. “We fought through the whole game and were proud of our effort.”
Freshman Kelly Kyle had a strong match, with 11 kills and nine digs. She was joined by Harbison, who recorded 10 kills and eight blocks.
Bamiro added 10 kills and four blocks.
The Bulldogs played well at times during the game but made too many self-inflicted errors to win.
“The gym was crazy, and they’re one of the best teams in the Horizon League,” Harbison said. “We went five with them, which was good to see.”
The Bulldogs took care of Wright State at home on Tuesday.
They took all three sets from the Raiders (2-16, 1-6) by scores of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-15.
The Bulldogs face Loyola Oct. 8. The game will start at 4 p.m. in Hinkle Fieldhouse.