FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Butler volleyball team concluded its season-opening weekend with a 3-1 record, finishing Saturday with a 3-0 sweep over Kent State at the IPFW Volleyball Tournament. Winning three of four earned the Bulldogs a tie for first in the tourney. In addition, the Bulldogs finished with the best set-winning percentage (.750) of the four teams in the event.
Hours after sweeping Eastern Illinois, Butler made quick work of KSU. Junior Jessica Wolfe led the Dogs with 16 kills, while sophomore Kelsey Labrum hit .400 on her way to a season-high nine kills.
BU didn't waste time taking command in the first set, never trailing en route to a 25-16 win. The second set went back and forth until a kill by freshman Gina Vera put Butler ahead 20-16 and forced a Kent State timeout. The Bulldogs eventually posted a 25-22 win to take a 2-0 lead.
Butler took a quick 12-2 lead in the third set and then cruised the rest of the way. Kent State rallied to tie the score at 20, but BU pushed ahead for a 25-23 win to clinch the sweep.
Head coach Sharon Clark was pleased with the team's performance in the season's first weekend, citing a strong sideout effort as one factor.
"We had a 75 percent success rate on sideouts, and continued that in the other two sets," Clark said. "We had several players hit well, so we also played well offensively."
Clark also praised Vera, the freshman setter who played like a veteran in her first collegiate tournament.
"Gina played like she's been on our team for years," she said.
Butler travels to Chicago State Thursday, Sept. 3 for a match before heading to Marquette's tournament Sept. 4-5. BU will play Austin Peay, Marquette, Binghamton and Texas State in Milwaukee next weekend.