Result: UIC def. Butler 13-25, 25-21, 25-20, 28-26
CLEVELAND - Butler's best volleyball season in recent years came to an end Friday night as the No. 4 seed Bulldogs lost to No. 5 UIC, 3-1, in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Volleyball Championship at Cleveland State. The Bulldogs finish the season 21-14.
Junior All-Horizon League performer Jessica Wolfe led BU with 19 kills and 15 digs and freshman Gina Vera had 54 assists and 16 digs. Junior libero Katie Daprile collected 27 digs. Senior Porshia Allen, another all-league Bulldog, had nine kills and 24 digs despite playing with an injured ankle.
Butler dominated the opening set despite falling behind 5-1 early. BU went on a 13-5 run to take a 14-10 lead. The Dogs delivered the knockout blow when they ripped off nine straight points with Daprile serving to lead 23-11. Butler took set No. 1 25-13.
BU led 14-11 in the second set but UIC ran off six straight points for a 17-14 advantage. After that, the Flames didn't trail again en route to winning 25-21.
The third set was close until the Flames took control for a 16-12 lead. Butler would tie it at 17 but couldn't get a key point to take a lead. Leading 21-18, UIC got three points in a row for set point. The Flames would take the set 25-20 and a 2-1 match lead.
The fourth set was tight throughout. Butler seemed to have the upper hand when it led 18-14 and then later 20-15. After a kill by Allen and a ball-handling error by UIC, BU had a 24-20 lead and a fifth set appeared likely. UIC then got four points in a row to tie it. The Dogs led 25-24 and 26-25 before eventually falling 28-26.
UIC's Casie Sullivan had 14 kills with no errors and 12 digs. Five different Flames posted 12 or more digs and four UIC players had at least seven kills. The Flames (16-17) advance to the semifinal of the tourney to play host and regular season champ Cleveland State.