Butler Takes 5-Set Thriller Over DePaul

CHICAGO - The Butler volleyball team fell behind 2-1 but finished strong to win in five sets at DePaul Saturday night. Butler and Eastern Illinois each went 2-1 to lead the tourney field, and the Bulldogs defeated the Panthers Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore Belle Obert led Butler with her second double-double of the day, totaling 16 kills, 10 digs and four blocks. Junior Maggie Harbison added 10 kills, 17 digs and six blocks. Junior Morgan Peterson dished 42 assists with three aces and five digs.

"Our blocking was phenomenal all day today and that was the game plan," head coach Sharon Clark said. "Morgan was great in all aspects. Her serving set the tone for an aggressive attack."

After BU took the first set 25-17, DePaul appeared to take control of the match by taking a 2-1 lead. The host Blue Demons won the second set 25-20 and the third 25-18.

Butler stayed together and rallied for the victory. BU, keyed by an 8-0 run in the middle of the frame, dominated the third set 25-14. The Dawgs led 15-13 before ripping off eight straight points and taking command. 

With the match score 2-2, the two teams played closely early in the deciding set. At 5-5, an ace and two kills by Obert put BU ahead 8-5. With BU leading 12-10 and taking control, the Dawgs scored three points to claim the match. Two Butler kills and a DePaul attack error clinched the evening for BU.

"We are working on being better every day and taking personal responsibility for our performanceand the girls did that today," Clark said. "We had great contributions for our bench in Natalie Meert and Kelly Kyle at a crucial time in the match." 

Peterson was selected as Depaul Invitational MVP. Stahl and Obert joined her on the all-tournament team. Also honored were DePaul's Natlie Rizzo, EIU's Stephanie Wallace and Indiana State's Shea Doran.

DePaul was led by Callie Huebener with 14 kills and 12 digs. Vesela Zapryanova served four aces for the Blue Demons.

Butler is back in action next weekend with three matches at Pittsburgh. The Bulldogs will play Howard, Coastal Carolina and Pittsburgh.