Cleveland State def. Butler 25-22, 18-25, 15-25, 25-13, 16-14
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Butler had match point twice but a late Cleveland State rally in the fifth set ended the Bulldogs' season Saturday night at the Horizon League Volleyball Championship. Butler's volleyball season ends with a 16-13 record.
BU had match point twice in the fifth set after building a 14-12 lead. The two teams traded points in the decisive set, but the Bulldogs got a pair of blocks to set up match point. A pair of Kara Koch kills made it 14-14 and BU called timeout. Koch got two more kills after the timeout to clinch the victory for Cleveland State.
CSU, the tourney's No. 2 seed, advanced to take on No. 1 seed Milwaukee in the league tournament final. UWM defeated Valparaiso in the other semifinal.
Koch had 34 kills and 17 digs for the Vikings (21-7). Amy Grabiec had 22 digs and Jordan Goad had 53 assists to go with 17 digs.
Freshman Belle Obert led BU with 16 kills, 14 digs and two aces. In her final collegiate match, senior Maureen Bamiro had 14 kills on .440 hitting. Sophomore Maggie Harbison had eight blocks (1 solo, 7 assists).
Cleveland State started the match fast by winning a close first set. Butler had the early lead, but the key stretch came with BU leading 19-16. Four straight points by CSU put the Vikings ahead 20-19. Butler would not lead again as Cleveland State close out a 25-22 set.
The Dawgs dominated the second and third sets to lead the match 2-1. In the second set, CSU led 9-7 before a 7-3 stretch put Butler up 14-12. Moments later, BU ripped off six straight points to lead 20-13. Of those six points, four were attack errors by the Vikings. Butler would finish the set 25-18. The Bulldogs made quick work of the third set, jumping out to an 11-4 lead. Up 12-7, Bamiro smacked three straight kills to regain momentum. Butler went on to win 25-15.
Bamiro was the team's lone senior, so Butler is set to return 13 players from a team that won 10 of its final 12 matches this season.