Sept. 11, 2003
Butler opened the 2003 home slate on a sour note as the Crimson Tide of Alabama dropped the Bulldogs 30-22, 25-30, 30-24, 30-24. The loss puts Butler at 6-3, while the Crimson Tide improve to 2-5 on the season.
Neither team was sharp throughout the match, as Butler had a .025 (39-35-157) hitting percentage and Alabama had 24 service errors. However, the Crimson Tide were able to amass 61 kills, with Erin Heffner leading the way with 18. Butler countered with 39, led by Areal Bienemy's 11. She was the only Bulldog in double figures.
After losing the first game, the Bulldogs were able to fight back to take the second game of the match 30-25. After the break, the Crimson Tide began to hit more consistently and ultimately pulled away from the home team.
"It wasn't one of our better performances," said Butler coach Sharon Clark. "We came out too wound up and didn't settle down until the second game. Give Alabama credit, they did a nice job of just keeping the ball coming back at us.
"We just weren't clicking tonight. We hope to regroup for tomorrow night (when the Bulldogs host Southern Illinois in the Butler Invitational)."
In addition to Heffner's 18 kills, the Crimson Tide got 11 kills and 15 digs from Kory Tull. Both players performed well in front of their "home crowd" as Heffner hails from Ft. Wayne, Ind., while fellow Hoosier Tull is from up I-65 in Lafayette. The energetic Alabama crowd made up a good portion of the 250 in attendance.
Butler turns right around and begins the Butler Invitational Friday night with a 7 p.m. match against Southern Illinois. The Bulldogs host San Francisco at 1 p.m. and Appalachian State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the four-team tournament.