QUEENS, N.Y. – It took all five sets on Saturday night, but the Bulldogs were able to improve their overall record to 18-5 with a 3-2 win at St. John's (25-21, 25-20, 24-26, 23-25, 15-9).
Mary Striedl was the player of the game for Butler with 22 digs and 11 kills. Four Bulldogs reached a double figure kill count as Belle Obert led the team with 18. Obert impacted the match on many levels as she added seven blocks and six digs. Butler's block leader was Erica Stahl who recorded a double-double with a match-high 11 blocks and 10 kills.
Morgan Peterson put together a great stat line for Butler as she ended the match with 51 assists, seven digs, five kills and four blocks. The Bulldogs once again dominated the action at the net recording 17 team blocks against the Red Storm.
Karin Palgutova and Aleksandra Wachowicz paced the Red Storm with 25 and 22 kills respectively. Deniz Mutlugil ended the night with 58 assists and Shawna-Lei Santos led St. John's with 31 digs.
Butler trailed St. John's for most of the first set, but the Bulldogs came back to tie the game and a late scoring run would give Butler an early 1-0 lead. The Red Storm jumped out to a 5-1 lead after a service ace from Wachowicz. The lead would stand until late in the set as Butler came back to knot the score at 20-20. Attack errors hurt St. John's in the opener as Butler used a 5-1 run to pull out the 25-21 win.
Set two was more back and forth action as Butler once again came up clutch down the stretch to earn a 2-0 lead at the break. The Bulldogs finished the second set on an 8-3 run after the game was tied at 17-17.
It took an extra point in set three to separate the two teams as St. John's got on the board with a 26-24 win. The Red Storm held a 24-21 lead late in the action, but Butler came back to tie the game at 24-24 after a bad set from Deniz Mutlugil. The comeback fell short as Karin Palgutova won the set for St. John's with two straight kills from Mutlugil.
St. John's pushed the match to a fifth set after pulling out a 25-23 win in set four. Butler tied the game at 23-23 with a kill from Harbison but a block from Guzman followed by another kill from Palgutova gave St. John's the win.
A great start to the fifth set allowed Butler to get on top with a 3-0 advantage. Another 3-0 run later in the action gave Butler a 9-5 edge midway through the fifth and Obert sealed the match with back-to-back kills to give Butler the 15-9 win.
Butler will return to Hinkle Fieldhouse with a pair of home matches next weekend. The Bulldogs will host Marquette on Friday, Nov. 1 and end the weekend with a 7 p.m. home match vs. DePaul on Saturday.