Chicago, Ill. - A late third-set rally by the Bulldogs would fall short in the end, as host Loyola claimed a 25-15, 25-19, 30-28 victory over Butler on Saturday (Nov. 8) afternoon at Alumni Gym.
The loss sends the Bulldogs to 18-9 on the year and 8-7 in Horizon League play, while the Ramblers improve to 18-9 and 7-7 in the conference.
Butler struggled to get things going offensively in the first two sets, notching just seven kills in each while hitting .000 (7-7-32) and .030 (7-6-33), respectively.
A lightning-fast start by Loyola in the first set put the Bulldogs on their heels early, as the Ramblers jumped ahead to a 15-5 lead before holding on for a 10-point decision.
Butler would keep things closer in the second stanza and held a 14-13 advantage after forcing back-to-back Loyola attack errors. The Ramblers would respond with four-straight points, however, to take a three-point edge and held on down the stretch to take a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
The Bulldogs had to play catch-up in the third set, as Loyola went up by five late at 19-14. Butler would steadily climb back into the contest, however, using an 8-3 surge to bring the score back to even at 22-22.
Loyola would put itself on the verge of a match victory at 24-23, but back-to-back kills by Porshia Allen swung the momentum back around and gave the Bulldogs a chance to get back into the contest with a set-point at 25-24.
A kill by Loyola evened the match again though and, despite go-ahead kills by Jessica Wolfe and Katie Daprile, the Ramblers would answer back and even the bout both times before getting another kill from Sarah Singer to put Loyola back in front at 28-27.
Another kill from Wolfe kept the Bulldogs alive, but an ensuing Butler service error and a kill from Singer gave the Ramblers the decisive points for the match.
Wolfe led the Bulldogs with seven kills in the match, while Maureen Bamiro added six and Dana Daprile chipped in five on a team-high .308 hitting (5-1-13). Bamiro also finished with a team-best five blocks, while Katie Daprile paced the squad with 10 digs.
Butler closes out the regular season at home next week when it welcomes Wright State to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday (Nov. 14) for a 7:00 p.m. match. The contest will also serve as Senior Night, with Chloe' Blasingame, Dana Daprile and Nina Inic being honored in a pre-match ceremony.