Indianapolis, Ind. - Freshman Jessica Wolfe sizzled on offense to the tune of 29 kills while three other Butler players finished with double-digit kills in helping the Bulldogs stave off a relentless Youngstown State attack for a 34-36, 31-29, 26-30, 30-25, 15-10 decision in the Horizon League opener at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday (Sept. 14) night.
Butler improves to 6-5 on the year and 1-0 in Horizon League play, while the Penguins drop to 6-6 and 0-1 in league play.
The two squads dueled for over two-and-a-half hours, with the five-game match featuring 44 ties and 19 lead changes.
The first game set the tune for the remainder of the night, as the two squads battled through 20 ties and six lead changes before the Penguins claimed the early advantage with a nail-biting 36-34 decision. The Bulldogs had their chances late, sitting on four game points before Youngstown State rallied for the opening win.
The Bulldogs had to battle back in the second game after trailing by as many as six points late at 21-15. Youngstown State had a chance to go up 2-0 in the match, reaching game point at 29-28, but the Bulldogs reeled off three-straight points, including a pair of kills by Wolfe, to come from behind for a 31-29 victory.
After YSU took the third game 30-26, the Penguins appeared poised to take the match in four games taking a quick 6-1 lead in the fourth. The Bulldogs had other ideas, however, as a 10-3 run propelled them ahead by two at 11-9.
Youngstown State would keep things close until the final few points, when Butler pushed ahead by four at 27-23 and held on to tie the match with a 30-25 decision.
The fifth and deciding game was all Butler, as the Bulldogs went ahead 4-1 and would not look back.
Wolfe finished with a career-best 29 kills and added 14 kills for her fifth double-double of the year. Senior Michelle DeGeeter added season-highs with 19 kills and 20 digs for her fourth double-double of the season, while freshman Katie Daprile notched second double-double of the year with 12 kills and 16 digs.
Junior Dana Daprile topped her career-high with 59 assists and fell just one dig shy of tallying the Bulldogs' fourth double-double of the night.
Butler returns to action on Saturday (Sept. 15) when they host Cleveland State beginning at 4:00 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse.