DAYTON, Ohio - For two sets, Butler was as good as the nation's 22nd-ranked team before falling 3-1 Friday night at Dayton's Frericks Center. The match was tied 1-1 before UD took control in the third and fourth sets to clinch the win.
The match, which was the Atlantic 10 debut for Butler athletics, was played in front of a crowd of 1,308.
"We have to play stellar defense to beat a top 20 team," head coach Sharon Clark said. "The loud crowd was fun and our team handled it well."
Dayton, led by Rachel Krabacher's 23 kills on .304 hitting, totaled .324 hitting on the night. Service aces were even and BU out-blocked UD 8-7.
"They made big runs on us in the second game and our passing wasn't good enough to have a balanced offense," Clark said. "We let our great defense from the first two sets slip, and they took advantage of that."
The first set couldn't have been closer, and the fifth tie of the set made it 13-13. Butler went on to lead 19-17. Moments later, tied 20-20, Butler got a block from Harbison and sophomore Erica Stahl to lead 21-20. Dayton got the next three points to lead 23-21 and held on for the first set 26-24.
Dayton appeared to be in control in the second set, leading 15-9, before Butler took command. With Kyle serving, the Bulldogs closed to within 17-16. Dayton rallied and would lead 22-18. The Flyers (9-4, 1-0) would get set point at 24-22 when an ace by Randich and a block tied the set 24-24. At 26-26, the Dawgs got an ace from junior Morgan Peterson and a kill by sophomore Belle Obert to win 28-26.
The match was now 1-1 heading into the break.
Dayton, who was ranked in the top 10 a week ago, rolled 25-10 in the third set to lead the match 2-1. Dayton led the fourth set 13-10 and then used a 4-0 run to take control with a 17-10 lead. After a Butler timeout, Dayton went ahead 19-10 on its way to a 25-14 set win. The Flyers clinched the set 3-1.
Butler continues its first weekend of A-10 play with a Saturday match at Xavier. First serve is at 3 p.m. ET.