Butler def. UIC 25-21, 25-10, 25-23
INDIANAPOLIS - An efficient offensive attack and a strong service game lifted the Butler volleyball team to a 3-0 win over UIC Saturday afternoon. The match was Senior Day for Maureen Bamiro, who had 10 kills on .368 hitting and three blocks.
The win was important because it lifted BU to third in the Horizon League standings with two weekends left to play. Butler is 8-5 along with Valparaiso, and UIC fell to 7-6 in league play. Butler split the season series with Valpo, including a 3-1 win Friday night.
Butler hit .297 as a team and featured four players with seven of more kils. However, it was serving that made the difference. BU had seven aces, including a season-high four by sophomore Maggie Harbison. At a crucial point late in the third set, Harbison smacked three consecutive aces to effectively slam the door on the Flames.
"The biggest thing for us was our aggressiveness serving," head coach Sharon Clark said. "We really served well and took them out of their rhythm and serve-receive. That made a huge difference for us."
Butler rolled in the first set, leading by as many as seven several times before closing it 25-21. The Bulldogs made quick work of the Flames, ripping off a 6-1 run in the middle of the set to go up 17-8. With Butler leading 18-9, the Dawgs scored six straight points with Harbison serving to set up a 24-9 set point. BU would win the set 25-10 to lead the match 2-0.
The third set was the closest of the day and UIC actually led several times late. The Flames (14-12) led 20-19 when a kill by Kyle and three Harbison aces put Butler ahead 23-20. BU led 24-21 when UIC got two kills and Butler needed a timeout to regroup. The Bulldogs went to Bamiro, how swatted a kill for the final point of her career at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
UIC was led by Kelsey Safranek with 11 kills and nine digs. MaryKate Imrie, the Flames setter, had 29 assists and 13 digs.
Butler plays at Green Bay and Loyola next weekend, starting at Green Bay Thursday, Nov. 3. The Bulldogs have already defeated each of those teams earlier this season.