Natalie Ravenell prepares to serve the ball during a game last season. The Butler volleyball team is now 3-9 on the season. Collegian file photo.
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The Butler volleyball team hosted its first home tournament from Sept. 20-21, going 1-2 in the annual Bulldog Brawl.
“I think we expected more from our performance this weekend,” setter Megan Ramseyer said. “There were several positive moments for us and times that we fought hard and were able to execute.”
The Bulldogs started play against a strong Pacific team Friday night. The two teams traded off sets throughout the game, leading to a five-set battle. The Bulldogs’ struggles with five set losses continued, as they dropped the fifth 15-10 and lost the match 3-2.
Megan Ramseyer posted a double-double with 43 assists and 10 digs, as Brooke Gregory had a team high 13 kills and 7 blocks.
On Saturday, Butler started competition against Belmont at noon. After a tough loss the night before, the Bulldogs seemed to gain their momentum back, beating the Bruins in three straight sets.
Gregory led the team in kills and had an impressive .500 hitting average. Melody Davidson also came up big in the middle with 10 kills and 6 blocks.
Libero Elizabeth LaBue said that blocking was a crucial aspect of the win and tournament as a whole.
“Blocking brings us so much momentum during the close games and can really change the direction of a match,” she said. “We were also able to serve more aggressively than we have during the past couple of weekends.”
Later that day, the Bulldogs took on Loyola Marymount University. The Dawgs had a slow start, dropping the first two sets to the Lions. They came back and won in a tight, back and forth, third set but could not compete with LMU in the fourth, losing the match 3-1.
The Bulldogs struggled starting strong throughout the tournament.
“We had short spurts when we would make really impressive plays and do good things, but they weren’t consistent,” LaBue said. “We would have a slow start at the beginning of a set and spend the rest of the time chasing after our opponent, trying to catch up.”
Butler volleyball begins conference play this week, taking on Marquette on the road on Sept. 25. The Bulldogs will open up Big East home play on Oct. 2 against DePaul.
“With the fresh start, our goals are to win the serving and passing game every time and start every match with good energy and momentum to carry us through the rest of the season,” Ramseyer said.