UIC Edges Butler In 5 Sets

UIC def. Butler 25-22, 20-25, 25-16, 15-25, 15-11

CHICAGO - The Butler volleyball team got 11 kills and nine digs from freshman Kelly Kyle and strong blocking in the middle but the Bulldogs dropped a 3-2 match at UIC Friday night. 

Sophomore Maggie Harbison had 10 kills and eight total blocks while senior Maureen Bamiro added 10 kills on .381 hitting with four blocks. Freshman Brooke Ruffolo had a match-high 21 digs.

"Our middles Maggie and Maureen were huge for us blocking," head coach Sharon Clark said. "It was a well-played match by both teams."

The first two sets were very tight, with the Flames (10-5, 3-1) claiming the first set and the Dawgs winning the second set. After dropping the first set, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early 9-4 lead to force a Flames timeout. Butler would move through the set a step ahead of UIC, maintaining leads of three or four until pulling away 25-20.

As close as the first two sets were, the next two sets were exactly the opposite. UIC rolled 25-16 in the third set and Butler answered back by routing the Flames in the fourth set. BU led 7-4 early and the two teams traded points down the stretch. Leading 16-14, the Bulldogs won three straight points to claim a 19-14 advantage. The Bulldogs continued to roll on, winning the next five points for a 24-14 lead. After a service error, freshman Belle Obert finished the 25-14 set win with a kill. Obert had 11 kills and boasted a .391 hitting percentage. 

"Belle came off the bench and played really well," Clark said.

UIC took control in the fifth set by leading 8-4 and later 11-6 to force a Butler timeout. Trailing 13-7, BU won two points to pull within 13-9. At 14-9, BU staved off two consecutive match points before UIC clinched the match on a Bulldog service error.

UIC was led by Kelsey Safranek had 23 kills and Nicole Allgood had a double-double of 19 kills and 11 digs. 

Butler (5-11, 1-3) will continue the road weekend at Valparaiso Saturday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. ET.