The Butler volleyball team took its hot streak to Cincinnati Friday and lost to Xavier in a close five-set match (22-25, 28-26, 25-13, 25-27, 9-15).
The Musketeers took the first set down to the wire. A kill by Xavier freshman outside-hitter Abbey Bessler put the Musketeers at set point. This was followed by another kill by senior outside-hitter Kelsey Dunaway to win the set.
The Bulldogs battled back from the early deficit, regaining momentum by taking the second and third sets of the match and looking to avenge a previous loss to Xavier in the opening weekend of Big East play on Sept. 27.
With the Musketeers in a high-pressure spot going into the fourth set, Butler commited an attack error and had several miscues late in play that proved too much to overcome.
Xavier capitalized on the opportunity to rally back and took the fourth and fifth sets to decide the match. That sent the Bulldogs to their second conference loss, both at the hands of the Musketeers.
“This was a really tough match between two teams,” Butler coach Sharon Clark said. “We had opportunities to finish the match in four, but we just couldn’t find a way to close them out.”
Senior striker Morgan Peterson led the offensive front for Butler, chalking up 48 saves, 15 digs and seven kills in the match. Junior outside-hitter Belle Obert added 21 digs as well as eight kills.
The Bulldogs (16-4 overall, 3-2 Big East) will enjoy the week off before traveling to Omaha next Sunday, looking to return to form against Creighton (12-4 overall, 3-1 Big East). Butler beat Creighton on Oct. 4 when the Blue Jays were ranked 23rd.