Butler def. Austin Peay 27-25, 25-17, 26-24
INDIANAPOLIS - Senior Maureen Bamiro swatted 18 kills on .382 hitting and the Butler volleyball team made quick work of Austin Peay, 3-0, Friday evening at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs have now won three straight matches and four of their last five.
Freshman Brooke Ruffolo, who made 33 digs earlier in the day vs. Elon, totaled 19 digs against the Governors. Freshman Kelly Kyle had 14 kills while sophomore Maggie Harbison had eight kills, two blocks and two aces.
"What brought us through tonight was our serve receive. We passed really well," head coach Sharon Clark said. "We had no reception errors. And for us, it's a serve and pass game. If we can serve tough and pass well, we can win."
Butler (4-6) and Austin Peay (1-7) traded points throughout the first set, which featured 15 ties. Butler led 23-22 late in the set, forcing an Austin Peay timeout. Play continued to be even until Butler claimed the final two points after a 25-25 tie. A kill by Kyle and a block by Harbison and freshman Stephanie Kranda sealed the set and gave Butler the 1-0 match lead.
The Bulldogs went on to cruise in the second set. Leading 14-11, BU ripped off a 7-2 run to go up 21-13 and effectively end the set. A big ace by Harbison closed the set 25-17.
Austin Peay did not go quietly, and built a 15-13 lead at a timeout on the floor. The Govs then got four of the next six points to lead 19-15, forcing a Butler timeout. After a BU attack error, Austin Peay led the set 22-19 and appeared to have control of the third set. Butler answered with the next two points to force a timeout. Moments later, Austin Peay had set point at 24-23 but Obert delivered a big kill and Harbison clinched the win with aggressive serving.
"We had to come from behind for most of game three, but it showed some character for us," Clark said. "Early in the season, we weren't pulling out those close games. Now we've started to do that and we're getting a confidence about ourselves to pull out games when they're tight."
Three matches are on tap for the Butler Invitational Saturday, Sept. 10 at Hinkle. Elon and Central Michigan lead off at 11 a.m. before Elon takes on Austin Peay. The final contest pits Butler vs. Central Michigan at 6 p.m. Follow the Dawgs on Twitter @ButlerVB.