Bulldogs Back In First Place, Defeat Milwaukee 3-2
Result: Butler def. Milwaukee 20-25, 25-19, 25-23, 26-28, 15-12
MILWAUKEE - Senior Jessica Wolfe had a season-high 26 kills and 14 digs and the Butler women's volleyball team outlasted Milwaukee, 3-2, Saturday evening. The win forced a three-way tie for first at the top of the Horizon League standings.
Senior Katie Daprile had 31 digs and became Butler's all-time career leader in digs in the process. Sophomore Gina Vera handed out 53 assists and 13 digs. Freshman Maggie Harbison added 14 kills and 16 digs.
The win was Butler's first at Milwaukee since 1995.
"We stayed together and kept pushing the tempo. Jessie stepped up and played big and Katie was digging her heart out," head coach Sharon Clark said.
The first set was close early, but the Bulldogs would stay strong and build a 16-11 lead. The Panthers rallied to win the set 25-20, finishing the set on a 6-1 run with Anna Bartz serving.
Butler rebounded to win the next two sets. In set No. 2, the Bulldogs led 5-0 early and would lead by as much as 22-14 en route to a 25-19 win. The third set was tight, and featured Butler coming back from trailing 6-2. A 5-1 run made it 7-7 and the teams traded points throughout. BU would get up 21-19 and win the race to the end, 25-23.
The Bulldogs, now up 2-1, appeared to own the fourth set, leading 9-2. Milwaukee went on a run to tie it 16-16. Later, an ace by freshman Claire Randich gave Butler a 22-19, and it appeared a victory was imminent. UWM answered with a 5-1 run to go up 24-23. Butler staved off three set points before falling 28-26.
Butler (11-7, 6-1 HL) took command of the decisive fifth set, building a 9-6 lead and forcing a Milwaukee timeout. Later, kills by Wolfe and Harbison gave the Dawgs a 12-7 lead. The Panthers won four straight points to inch within 12-11, but BU answered with the next two points for match point. Harbison finished the match with a kill.
"Milwaukee was playing well," Clark said. "But we were able to pull out the big plays when they mattered."
Butler will take its 6-1 league record to Green Bay Sunday, Oct. 9. The match concludes a tough four-match league road swing. BU's next home match is Friday, Oct. 15 against Valparaiso.