INDIANAPOLIS - The Butler volleyball team had been having trouble with long matches, but the Bulldogs reversed that trend and stuck out a gutsy 3-2 win over Cleveland State Friday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Junior Jessica Wolfe and senior Porshia Allen each had a double-double for BU, which improved to 11-7 and 2-0 in Horizon League play.
Wolfe had a team-high 18 kills and 11 digs, while Allen added 14 kills and 15 digs. Butler was strong defensively during the long contest, racking up 18 team blocks to go along with junior Katie Daprile's season-high 31 digs.
Freshman setter Gina Vera had 54 assists and 11 digs as four Bulldogs had double-figure kills.
Butler rolled to a 13-4 lead in the first set and maintained a healthy lead until a kill by Liz Fazio closed the Vikings within 23-22. BU then took the final two points to win 25-22.
CSU (11-5, 1-1 HL) controlled the second set, taking a 16-10 lead and forcing a Butler timeout. Trailing 19-13, BU got four straight points with to cut the lead to 19-17. A service ace from junior Kelsey Labrum tied the set 21-21, but CSU scored three straight to take a set point at 24-21. That's when the Bulldogs rallied, ripping off five straight points to win the second set 26-24 and take a 2-0 lead in the match. The key moment in that second set came with CSU up 24-23, Fazio reared back on an attack and Wolfe and sophomore Maureen Bamiro came up with a huge block to swing the momentum.
"Our middles (Bamiro and Jalesa Lee) worked really hard in practice this week, and they played phenomenal," head coach Sharon Clark said. "We had 18 blocks and we came up with really big plays."
The third set is where things got interesting. Both teams traded shots until BU had a match point at 24-23. Things appeared to be over for Cleveland State until a kill and a block by Fazio and a BU attack error gave the Vikings the set 26-24 and kept the contest going.
The fourth set was BU's longest of the year, with Cleveland State squeaking by 32-30. The Bulldogs had three match points as the momentum seemed to shift with every point. Butler had leads of 25-24, 27-26 and 30-29 but Cleveland State answered back each time.
Butler forced a CSU timeout in the rubber set, taking command and an 8-4 lead. Butler had its fifth match point of the night at 14-9 before Cleveland State ran off four straight points to keep things tense. CSU's Kara Koch hit the final attack of the night into the net, sealing the set for BU 15-13.
Fazio had 22 kills and 16 digs for Cleveland State. Maggie Bonomoni had 29 digs as five different Vikings had at least 15 digs. Jordan Goad had 59 assists.
Lee had 10 kills and seven block assists and Labrum had 10 kills. Bamiro had 10 block assists to go with nine kills.
The Bulldogs take on Wright State Saturday, Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse.