Early Offense, Late Blocking Helps Bulldogs Sweep Past Flames
Indianapolis, Ind. - Porshia Allen and Jessica Wolfe each notched their eighth double-doubles of the season and Kelsey Labrum came just a kill shy of her third, as the Bulldogs used a dominating offense early on before riding their powerful blocking down the stretch in claiming a 25-19, 25-23, 25-19 sweep of visiting UIC on Sunday (Oct. 12) afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Butler registered 10 total blocks in the match - its 11th match with double-figure blocking totals this season - as the Bulldogs improved to 15-5 on the year and 5-3 in Horizon League play. UIC falls to 7-12 overall and 2-6 in conference.
The Bulldogs used a hard-hitting offense to take a 1-0 lead in the match, knocking down 17 kills - including six from Allen - while hitting a match-high .342 as a team. The Flames kept things close throughout most of the bout and trailed by just one point at 19-18. An ensuing 5-0 surge, keyed by two kills each from Wolfe and Maureen Bamiro, pushed the Bulldogs ahead by six before another kill by Bamiro sealed the first set in favor of Butler.
UIC took its turn with a late-set run in the second period, as the Flames used an 8-3 trek to break a 14-14 tie open and take a five-point edge at 22-17.
The Butler blocking would take over from there, as Allen and Melody Austin teamed up for three blocks to power an 8-1 set-closing run that gave the Bulldogs a 25-23 decision and put them ahead 2-0 in the match.
The blocking prowess by Butler would carry on over to the third set, as Allen, Austin and Wolfe combined for three blocks to help the Bulldogs out to a quick 5-1 lead in the set. UIC would rally back, however, turning a five-point Butler lead into two-point deficit at 12-10 on five kills and a pair of Bulldog attack errors.
Butler would not relent, scoring four-straight points to take a 14-12 lead and never relinquishing the advantage the rest of the way.
Wolfe finished with 11 kills on .391 (11-2-23) hitting and added 12 digs for her eighth double-double of the year, while Allen added 11 kills and 10 digs to post her eighth as well. Allen and Austin each notched seven blocks, while Labrum finished with a match-high 14 digs and chipped in nine kills.
Butler returns to action on Friday (Oct. 17) when it hits the road to face Valparaiso beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET.