Bulldogs Outlast Valparaiso, 3-2

Bulldogs Outlast Valparaiso, 3-2


VALPARAISO, Ind. - The Butler volleyball team finished its first weekend of Horizon League play with its second dramatic win in as many nights. One day after winning at Loyola in five sets, BU won at Valparaiso, 3-2, Saturday evening at the ARC.

It marks the first time since 2004 Butler has started 2-0 in league play on the road.

"It was a goal of ours to play well on the road. That's why we scheduled so tough during the non-conference season on the road," head coach Sharon Clark said. "Playing three top 30 teams away from Hinkle was prep for a brutal conference road schedule."

Senior Jessica Wolfe had a match-high 21 kills with 18 digs and a pair of aces. Senior Susan Lester had a career-high 24 digs, and fellow senior Katie Daprile added 24 digs as well.

"Susan played unbelievable defense today," Clark said. "We stayed aggressive and our sideout percentage was 100 percent. That is amazing. Every time they served, we put the ball away."

The first set was close, with no team taking a substantial lead early.  Butler led 16-13 at one point and would extend it to 18-14 on a Valpo attack error. Leading 21-17, BU claimed four of the set's final five points for the 25-18 win. Wolfe had two aces and a kill during that final stretch.

After taking the 1-0 match lead, the Bulldogs dominated the second set. Valpo led 4-2 early, but it was all Butler after that in set No. 2. With freshman Maggie Harbison serving, BU turned a 6-5 deficit into a 12-6 lead. Butler would lead by as much as 19-11 before taking the second set handily 25-16.

Valparaiso (11-2, 1-1 HL) battled back, taking the third and fourth sets handily. The Crusaders won set No. 3 25-13 before taking the fourth set 25-18.

Momentum favored the host Crusaders. But like Friday at Loyola, the Dawgs (6-6, 2-0 HL) had more in the tank than their opponents. The teams traded points early in the decisive set, but Butler worked to a 9-7 lead and would never trail again. BU claimed the final set 15-11 to win the match.

Butler will play at home twice this week, hosting IUPUI Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. Wright State comes to Hinkle Friday, Sept. 24.