Result: #14 Dayton def. Butler 25-17, 25-23, 25-11
DAYTON, Ohio – One of the best seasons in Butler volleyball history came to an end Friday night, as the Horizon League champion Bulldogs lost to 14th-seeded Dayton, 3-0, in the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Championship. Seniors Jessica Wolfe (11 kills) and Katie Daprile (17 digs) led BU.
Butler, making its second NCAA appearance in school history, dropped the first set and then adjusted well to give Dayton (28-3) a fight in the second set. Up 2-0 after the break, Dayton finished the job quickly in front of raucous crowd of 1,475.
"Dayton got a really good flow going, and we weren't able to stop it," BU head coach Sharon Clark said. "We didn't pass well enough to run our offense and Dayton did a good job taking us out of our game. They're well-coached. Kelly (Sheffield) had them ready."
UD's Lindsay Fletemier, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, had 14 kills on .519 hitting and three blocks. Amanda Cowdrey had 11 kills and nine digs.
The Bulldogs, the Horizon League tourney champions and the regular season-runner-up, finished the season 21-10. BU was making its first NCAA Volleyball Championship appearance since 1997.
UD, which went undefeated in the Atlantic 10 and entered NCAA play a winner of 22 straight, jumped out to an 11-7 lead early on a block by Fletemier and extended that to 16-10 on a block by Cowdrey moments later. A Cowdrey kill gave Dayton its largest lead of the set at 19-10, and the Flyers would hang on 25-17.
BU had its best NCAA success in the second set despite trailing 18-12. Battling back, Butler pulled to within 20-17 on a pair of kills by junior Maureen Bamiro. Dayton would eventually get set point at 24-18, but wouldn't head to the locker room without a fight from the Bulldogs. The Dawgs recorded four straight points to make it 24-22 and force a Dayton timeout. Vera chalked up a kill on the next point to make it 24-23. Cowdrey had a kill to finish the set and make it 2-0.
Dayton took command in the third, leading 6-1 and eventually 12-2. Later, a Flyer ace would make it 19-4 and the teams would trade points until UD got a pair of kills to clinch the match.
Butler is set to return in 2011 four starters and eight letterwinners from this season's memorable squad.
NOTES: Katie Daprile became the first player in Horizon League history to record 2,000 career digs. She finished her career with 2,009 stops…Daprile is also Butler's all-time leader in digs per set (4.28). Jessica Wolfe finished her illustrious Butler career with 1,655 kills (3rd in BU history), 3.53 per set (4th)…Butler falls to 0-2 all-time in NCAA Tournament play…The Bulldogs are 42-24 over the past two season, including a 19-3 mark at Hinkle Fieldhouse…Dayton will play Ohio State Saturday, Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m.