Butler volleyball drops three matches at Panther Challenge

The Butler volleyball team huddles during a match last year. The Bulldogs are 0-3 to start the season. Collegian file photo.

JIMMY LAFAKIS | STAFF REPORTER | jlafakis@butler.edu

The Butler University volleyball team suffered three defeats at the University of Pittsburgh’s Panther Challenge over the weekend.

All matches finished in straight sets. On Friday, the Bulldogs squared off against the tournament’s host, the University of Pittsburgh. The Panthers were ranked No. 20 in the country going into the match. Sophomore outside hitter Natalie Ravenell posted eight kills in the 25-14, 25-23, 25-12 loss, while redshirt freshman middle blocker Melody Davidson added a team-high three blocks.

“Our first game was pretty shaky,” Ravenell said. “Our energy was low. On day two, we came back with an improved mentality before stepping on the court.”

Butler’s next matches came as a morning-afternoon doubleheader. The Bulldogs lost to Pepperdine University in the early tilt, falling 25-20, 25-17, 25-18. Redshirt junior setter Maddie Freiwald finished the match with a team-high 24 assists and seven digs. Senior libero Taylor Takeda paced Butler with eight digs.

The Bulldogs lost to No. 24 California Polytechnic State University in the final match. Junior outside hitter/middle blocker Brooke Gregory hit .389, posting eight kills on 18 swings on only one error. Junior setter Megan Ramseyer posted a team-high 25 assists, six digs and two blocks in her first Butler start.

“We learned that we need to be tougher in rallies,” head coach Sharon Clark said. “We have to terminate at a higher rate. We will work a lot on our offense and how to score points offensively.”

The Bulldogs will return home to host the Top Dawg Challenge on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Butler will face Auburn University on on the first day of the event, and square off against Eastern Illinois University and Illinois State University on the second day. First serve for the team’s first match of the weekend is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JJLII30

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