Volleyball: Team gets first conference win

The Butler volleyball team is preparing to take on its next conference opponent, Saint Louis, after going 1-1 on the weekend and earning its first-ever Atlantic 10 conference win.

The Billikens (5-13, 0-4) are coming off a 15-12 record last year and a loss in the second round of the A-10 tournament to Xavier.

Saint Louis took back-to-back five-set losses against Duquesne and George Washington on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Butler (11-7, 1-3) fell to Duquesne (15-5, 4-0) three sets to one on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs won the first set by a score of 25-23, using multiple-point runs throughout the match to pull out the win.

The second set was similar to the first, except it was the Dukes who had success toward the end of the set.

With Butler leading 21-17, Duquesne would go on to take eight of the next 10 points to close out the set and send the teams into the third set tied.

In that set, the Bulldogs got into an 11-4 deficit, and were never able to recover. The Dukes won the third set 25-17 to put the Bulldogs on the brink of defeat.

With the score 15-15 in the fourth set, the Dukes rallied and went on a four point streak.

A few points later Butler senior Rachel Barber seemed to have a kill that was tipped by a Duquesne player. The officials ruled that it wasn’t tipped, to the dismay of the Bulldogs, and the Dukes then followed with an ace to force a Butler timeout.

Duquesne would eventually close out the set 25-19.

Junior Maggie Harbison led the Bulldogs with 15 kills, sophomore Brooke Ruffolo tallied 15 digs and junior Morgan Peterson and sophomore Erica Stahl each had four blocks.

The Bulldogs defeated George Washington (4-12, 1-2) three sets to none in Butler’s first home conference match of the season last Friday.

The Bulldogs came out strong and dominated the first set, winning by a score of 25-16.

Both teams traded for the lead several times in the second set. With Butler leading 21-20, Harbison served an ace to force a George Washington timeout.

The Colonials would bring the game to within one point again, but the Bulldogs took three of the next four points to close the set 25-22.

“It’s always great momentum to go in 2-0,” coach Sharon Clark said. “We worked on being aggressive throughout the match, and we had a few errors with that, but I’ll take that as long as we stay aggressive.”

In the third set, the Bulldogs started quickly. With Butler leading 21-16, George Washington would rally to cut the lead to one and force a Butler timeout.

Sophomore Belle Obert hit two kills to set up match point, and the Bulldogs got the win with a block by sophomores Stephanie Kranda and Stahl.

Clark said earning a victory in the second set was huge.

Clark also said that the crowd played a factor in the team’s victory.

“(The crowd) always helps,” Clark said. “The energy, the excitement about playing at home, that first conference match, we kind of ran with that, and that was great for us.”

Obert led the Bulldogs with 16 kills, junior Claire Randich had nine blocks, and Ruffolo had 18 digs.


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