Sept. 7, 2004
The Bulldogs continue to answer the challenge of one of the nation's toughest opening schedules, knocking off defending Atlantic 10 champion Dayton in three games (30-17, 30-27, 30-22) Tuesday night on the Flyers' home court. The Flyers also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships a year ago. Senior Kali Carter led the Bulldogs with 19 kills, 10 digs and three service aces in the match, as Butler wins their second straight match to improve to 2-2. Butler held the Flyers to no better than .069 hitting in any of the three games, as the Bulldogs collected 52 digs and forced Dayton into 23 errors. The Bulldogs' offense was just as impressive, as the guests had 49 kills to Dayton's 30. Senior setter Sara Gallagher orchestrated the Bulldogs' offense, leading the team to a .254 hitting percentage thanks in large part to her 39 assists. "This was a good night for us," said head coach Sharon Clark. "Kali did a great job both hitting and playing defense and Krystal (Hendrix) really stepped up. We just did a nice job controlling the match from start to finish. It's a good win for us after a long weekend." The Bulldogs got out of the gates quickly, hitting an amazing .419 in the first game. Butler had just two errors, while throwing down 15 kills in the 30-17 decision. In sharp contrast, Dayton committed seven errors against only nine kills in the opening stanza en route to .069 hitting. Carter had nine kills in the game, as the Bulldogs opened an early 9-4 lead and extended the lead. The host Flyers, who returned three starters from last season's 26-10 team that defeated the Bulldogs in three straight in Indianapolis, tried to mount a rally in the second game. With the match tied at 23, the Bulldogs won six of the next seven points to put the game out of reach. Butler's hitting dropped to .105, but their defense again stymied Dayton's offense, as the Flyers hit only .067 in the 30-27 Butler win. Butler returned to its form from the first game in the third, knocking down 19 kills on .342 hitting en route to a 30-22 win in the final game. The Flyers responded to a 19-10 deficit with a 7-0 run before the Bulldogs rattled off eight unanswered points to jump ahead for good. Dayton once again was held to a low hitting percentage, as the Flyers posted a .049 clip. Sophomore Krystal Hendrix turned in her best match of the young season, posting 14 kills on .444 hitting and four digs. Senior Areal Bienemy had a solid all-around match despite being the focus of the Flyers' defense, as she racked up eight kills, six digs and six blocks. Junior libero Megan Knightly had a match-high 16 digs, while freshman Michelle DeGeeter had five kills on .400 hitting and three blocks. Sophomore Faye Barhorst led Dayton with eight kills, as no Flyer broke into double-figures. Junior Nicole Schott had 11 digs for Dayton, which falls to 3-2 after winning the Flyer Invitational last weekend. The Bulldogs held Atlantic 10 "Player of the Week" Christy Utnage to five kills on .036 hitting. The Bulldogs' two losses this season have come at the hands of Purdue (currently No. 24 in the USA Today/AVCA poll) and Washington (currently No. 6), while the teams wins have come against Northern Illinois, which won 20 matches last season, on the Huskies' home court and Tuesday at Dayton. Butler opens the home portion of its 2004 schedule in grand fashion this weekend, hosting the annual Butler Invitational, presented by Wyndham Hotels. Two-day round robin action between the Bulldogs, Bradley, Western Illinois and Jacksonville State begins Friday at 4 p.m. with Bradley vs. Jacksonville State as the prelude to Butler's match against Western Illinois at 7 p.m.