DAYTON, Ohio - Senior Jessica Wolfe had 19 kills and 15 digs and the Butler volleyball team held off a Wright State rally to win, 3-2, Friday night. The Bulldogs are now 10-1 in the league and maintain their hold on first place in the league standings.
"Jessie and Katie definitely picked the team up and carried us on their backs for this win," head coach Sharon Clark said.
Butler, which had already defeated Wright State earlier this season, cruised in the first two sets and appeared to make an early trip home from Ohio with a win. The Bulldogs led 15-11 in the third set and victory appeared imminent.
The Raiders didn't go quietly, however, winning four straight points to tie the set at 16. The Raiders would continue to push and take advantage of some errors by the Bulldogs to lead 23-21 to force a Butler timeout. The Bulldogs staved off two WSU set points before falling 25-23.
"We made some uncharacteristic errors in the third set that gave them some momentum," Clark said. "But Wright State stepped up and played some incredible defense."
The two teams traded points in the fourth set until WSU seized control with an 18-14 lead. After a BU timeout, the Dawgs fought back for a 6-2 run to tie the set at 20. Wright State held on in the fourth 26-24, after having several set points thwarted by Butler.
The two teams played nearly even in the fifth, with seven ties leading to match point for BU at 14-13. Butler would have another match point at 15-14 before WSU won two straight points for a 16-15 lead. A Wolfe kill and an ace by freshman Maggie Harbison saved the day, and junior clinched the final set and the match with a kill.
Butler (15-7, 10-1) is in first place with five league matches to play. Milwaukee, a team BU has defeated on the road, is even in the loss column at 9-1. Four of Butler's final five matches are at home. The Bulldogs will play in Chicago against Chicago State and UIC next weekend, Oct. 28-29.