Result: Butler def. UIC 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11
INDIANAPOLIS - Junior Jessica Wolfe had 15 kills and 19 digs and Butler hit .423 in the 5th set to roll to a 3-2 win over UIC Saturday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. With the victory, the Bulldogs finish the season 9-0 at home.
BU (21-11, 10-4 HL) used a balanced attack offensively. Along with Wolfe, junior Kelsey Labrum (12 kills, 8 digs), sophomore Maureen Bamiro (11 kills) and senior Porshia Allen (9 kills, 17 digs) posted high numbers. Junior Katie Daprile had 20 digs and freshman Gina Vera had 44 assists, 14 digs and five block assists.
Butler, which is currently 3rd in the Horizon League standings, only played one non-league contest at home, a 3-0 win over Alabama A&M on Homecoming. The rest of the home slate was league contests, and the Bulldogs won every match.
"Our team played awesome at home all year," head coach Sharon Clark said. "Our crowds were terrific and we had a very high comfort level at home."
Butler posted a 7-1 lead in the first set and maintained a healthy advantage throughout. UIC never pulled closer than 16-13 and BU won 25-20.
UIC (15-15, 8-7 HL) answered in the 2nd set, building an 11-6 lead and forcing a BU timeout. The Dogs trailed throughout until going on a run with Daprile serving. Butler tied the set at 18 but the Flames took three of the next four for a 21-19 lead. UIC would take the stanza 25-21.
After a slow start, Butler rolled in set No. 3. The Flames led 7-4 and 10-7 before BU took five straight points to claim a 12-10 lead. Lead 12-11, the Bulldogs took five more points to build a 17-11 lead. Butler cruised from there to win 25-18 and go up 2-1 in the match.
Things looked promising for Butler in the 4th set, with the Bulldogs lead 16-11 after a UIC attack error. The Flames went on a run to tie it at 18 and the teams traded points until it was 22-22. UIC finished the set with three straight points to send the contest into a 5th and deciding set.
"UIC just kept coming at us," Clark said. "We did a great job of fighting them off. What was key for us was continuing to attack. Somebody stepped up for us every time."
The attack certainly was strong in set No. 5, as Butler rolled to leads of 4-1 and eventually 12-4. UIC pulled to within 13-8 to force a Butler timeout, but the Dogs answered and won 15-11. BU's .423 hitting in the 5th set came on 11 kills and no errors on 26 total attempts.
UIC's Casie Sullivan had 20 kills and 27 digs to lead the Flames. Jessica Dalke had 56 assists and 14 digs.
Next weekend is the final weekend of the regular season for Butler. BU travels to Green Bay Friday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. The Dogs then conclude the regular season at Milwaukee Saturday, Nov. 14.