INDIANAPOLIS - In the final regular season match of her college career, senior Rachel Barber led all players with 14 kills and hit .433 to lead the Butler volleyball team to a 3-0 win over Saint Louis.
The victory, along with a Duquesne win over George Washington, allowed Butler to earn a spot in the 2012 Atlantic 10 Volleyball Championship. BU will be the No. 6 seed and will face VCU in the first round. The tournament is Nov. 16-18 at Duquesne. Dayton is the top seed of the six-team tournament.
"We are peaking at the right time. Tonight was a collective effort," head coach Sharon Clark said.
It was Barber's best performance in her two years in a Butler uniform. She set personal bests in kills and hitting percentage on the night.
"I can't say enought about Rachel being fantastic on her senior night and final game at Hinkle," Clark said. "It was a great night for her."
Offensively as a team, it was one of BU's best nights of the year. The Dawgs hit .286 and had a 48-34 edge in kills. Junior Maggie Harbison smacked 11 kills while Claire Randich posted nine on .533 hitting.
The Bulldogs (17-11, 7-7) dominated most of the night. Only the last part of the first set was close. SLU, down 19-15, went on a a run to tie the set 25-25. Junior Morgan Peterson then served Randich for two kills in a row to give Butler the set 27-25.
Momentum continued for BU in the second set. Butler got four quick kills from Barber to lead 9-3 and it was quickly over. BU won easily 25-14, then nearly matched that with a 25-16 win in the final set. It was Butler's fifth straight win and ninth 3-0 sweep of the season.
SLU was led by Anna Church with 10 kills and five digs. Grace Bonoma had 14 digs. Saint Louis, which hit just .107 on the night, finished its season 10-19 and 4-10 in A-10 play.
Butler will play VCU Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. ET at Duquesne. VCU swept Butler on Oct. 13 and finished the regular season 24-5 and 10-4 in the A-10.