Powerful Offense, Stifling Defense Help Bulldogs Past YSU In Five

Youngstown, Ohio - Junior Porshia Allen led an explosive Butler offense with a season-high 24 kills and sophomore Katie Daprile anchored a stingy back-row defense with a career-best 36 digs as the Bulldogs held off a late charge from host Youngstown State to secure a 25-22, 26-24, 17-25, 22-25, 15-9 victory on Saturday (Nov. 1) afternoon at the Beeghly Center.

Butler totaled 62 kills, 102 digs and 12 total blocks in the match while improving to 18-7 on the season and 8-5 in Horizon League play. YSU, meanwhile, drops to 10-14 overall and 3-10 in conference.

The Bulldogs found themselves in a hole early on, as the Penguins took an early four-point lead in the opening set at 12-8 after getting a pair of kills, a block and a service ace. Butler would respond, however, riding a 6-1 run to claim its first lead of the bout before working out to a three-point edge at 20-17.

Three-straight points by YSU would bring the opening game back to even at 20-20, but a pair of kills from Jalesa Lee and two block assists from Lee and Melody Austin helped the Bulldogs close out the first point of the match.

Butler again found itself in an early deficit in the second set, as the Penguins built up a four-point edge at 14-10. Following a Bulldog time-out, Butler reeled off four-straight points, coming on a kill from Austin and a pair of block assists, to even the score once again at 14-14.

Despite the rally, the Bulldogs were unable to get the go-ahead point it needed through the next several points, as Youngstown State kept Butler at bay before putting itself just a point away from evening the match at 24-22.

A kill by Dana Daprile, however, would give the Bulldogs the side-out it needed while a pair of kills by Kelsey Labrum and a service ace powered a 4-0 surge to close the bout and give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the match.

Butler appeared to be on track to claim the match in three sets, as the Bulldogs pushed out to a two-point edge at 11-9 in the third. The Penguins would spoil the efforts, however, finishing the set on a 16-6 trek to cut the Butler advantage in the match down to 2-1.

The fourth set saw much of the same, as the Bulldogs again found themselves just points from a match victory at 22-20 only to have Youngstown State rally back for five-unanswered to force a decisive fifth set.

The two sides battled back in forth at the start of the fifth and found themselves at a 6-6 deadlock midway though, but the Bulldogs would take advantage of a pair of kills from Allen and a YSU hitting error to take a 9-6 lead and never look back in claiming the final set, 15-9.

Allen tallied a season-high 24 kills and added 19 digs for her team-best 12th double-double of the year, while Jessica Wolfe chipped in 12 kills and 16 digs for her 10th of the year. Austin led the way with six total blocks.

Dana Daprile put together another exception effort, dishing 49 assists with eight kills and eight digs while hitting a team-high .318 (8-1-22). Katie Daprile and Nina Inic, meanwhile, combined for 52 digs, with Daprile notching a career-best 36 and Inic collecting a season-best 17.

Daprile's 36 digs is also tied for the fifth-highest single-match total in Butler history.

"Dana's tenacity and court leadership really helped us tremendously to get this five-set win," head coach Sharon Clark said. "Katie and Nina also had great performances. They were both diving all over the place getting at some tough balls."

Butler continues its four-match road swing next Friday (Nov. 7) when it takes on UIC beginning at 8:00 p.m.