INDIANAPOLIS - Junior Maggie Harbison led Butler with 15 kills and 10 digs and BU had an early lead but Duquesne out-lasted the Bulldog volleyball team 3-1 on Saturday night.
Sophomore Erica Stahl added 10 kills on .667 hitting for Butler, which split its first home weekend against Atlantic 10 Conference competition.
"It's tough. We really wanted to get two (wins) here," head coach Sharon Clark said. "I think we could have. It hurt us to have Claire Randich out, and we juggled some people around position-wise. We just came up a little short tonight."
Butler (11-7, 1-3) was coming off a 3-0 Friday night win over George Washington, while Duquesne needed five sets to win at Saint Louis. It appeared as though the Bulldogs had their legs early, taking the first set 25-22. Butler trailed 15-13 at a timeout, then ripped off a 5-1 run to lead 18-16. The Dawgs would then add a 3-0 spurt to take a 23-19 lead and would eventually clinch the first set with a kill by sophomore Stephanie Kranda.
The second set was a turning point in the night, as Butler got out to an early lead but couldn't hang on. The Dawgs led 8-4 and later 14-9. The teams traded points, until Butler led 22-19 and seemed primed to go up in the match 2-0. Duquesne (15-5, 4-0) got the next five points in a row to have set point at 24-22. After a DU service error, the Dukes got a kill and the contest was even 1-1.
"That's a tough thing to see happen. We didn't pass-serve very well," Clark said. "But, we still had opportunities to pull that one out. And that was a critical time. Getting a split helped their momentum a little more than I would've liked."
Duquesne rolled in the third and fourth sets. The Dukes hit .303 and built a big lead after the break. Butler fell behind quickly 11-4 and would drop the set 25-17.
Butler went down swinging in the fourth set, and the Dawgs found themselves tied 15-15. Duquesne posted a 4-0 run to lead 19-15. DU then held off Butler to win the fourth set 25-19 and clinch the road win.
Clark, who is 100-78 all-time against conference opponents at BU, said Stahl and senior Rachel Barber (12 kills, 6 digs) stood out.
"I thought Erica hit very well," the Butler coach said. "And Rachel did a great job off the bench. She took some great swings and got kills. It was nice to see some people off the bench coming in and stepping up with one of our players out."
Arielle Love had 17 kills for the Dukes, while Sara Schierman had 12 kills and 12 digs. Duquesne hit .264 on the night and had an advantage in blocks (9.0-6.5).
Butler has just one match this coming week, playing at Saint Louis Saturday, Oct. 6. BU's next home match is Friday, Oct. 19 vs. Xavier.