Sept. 23, 2004
Using .308 hitting, the Bulldogs started off Horizon League play with a bang Thursday, dropping Wright State, 3-1, as senior Kali Carter led four Bulldogs in double-figure kills. With the win, Butler improves to 6-6 (1-0 Horizon League) on the season, while Wright State falls to 2-11 (0-1) after the 31-29, 21-30, 30-27, 30-18 Butler triumph.
Carter had 25 kills to lead the visitors and senior Areal Bienemy threw in 21 for good measure. Sophomore Krystal Hendrix added 13 kills and freshman Michelle DeGeeter posted a career-high 10 kills on .360 hitting. The four combined for 69 of the team's 74 kills, as the Bulldogs committed just 18 errors on the night. Junior libero Megan Knightly had a career-high 30 digs in the contest, while Carter's 13 digs give her 10 double-doubles in the team's 12 matches so far this season. Senior Sara Gallagher had a career-high 66 assists, helping out on all but three of the team's kills, as the team posted a season-high in hitting percentage.
"This started out as a traditional cross-state battle between Butler and Wright State. We really scrapped in the first one and then WSU made some great adjustments," said coach Sharon Clark. "We got great performances from Areal and Kali as usual, and we were very efficient on the attack tonight. We were happy to see Krystal and Michelle turn in nice matches offensively. Candice (Washington) came in and sparked us with her blocking and Meg had a phenomenal 30-dig game."
In the first game, Butler got out to a 19-13 advantage before Wright State clawed back into the frame. Down 29-26, the Raiders fought off three straight game points before back-to-back kills by Bienemy and Carter finished off the game, 31-29, in Butler's favor. Bienemy led the way with nine kills in the stanza, as Butler hit .354.
Wright State rebounded in the second game with a 30-21 decision, using .318 hitting to jump out to an early 11-3 lead and hold almost a 10-point cushion for the entire game. After the break, neither team could get much of an advantage, as neither team held more than a two-point lead until Wright State went ahead 20-16 after a Tiffin kill. Butler rebounded to finish the game with a 13-6 run to win 30-27.
Up two games to one, the Bulldogs didn't need long to finish things off, posting a 30-18 win in the fourth game. Butler enjoyed a 21-8 advantage in kills in the frame, hitting .381 to the Raiders' .051.
For the Raiders, McKenzie Tiffin and Sarah Poling each had 14 kills, while Taylor Gerlach had a team-high 19 digs. Wright State hit just .180 for the match, largely due to 26 hitting errors and nine total blocks by the Bulldogs.
Butler takes a brief hiatus from league play Saturday, playing host to Cincinnati at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The match begins at 4 p.m. and is one of just two non-league contests remaining for the Bulldogs. Butler returns to Horizon League play at Cleveland State Oct. 1.