RESULTS: Arizona def. Butler 25-19, 25-17,
Butler def. CSUB 20-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-11
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Butler volleyball team continued tournament play against top-notch competition Friday at Arizona's Wildcat Classic, losing to Arizona but rallying for a 3-1 win over Cal State Bakersfield. BU continues play Saturday, Sept. 4 with a match vs. Louisville.
Butler started the day with a 3-0 loss to the host Wildcats. The Bulldogs seemed to be able to keep up with Arizona for most of each set, but would fade at the end. In the first set, BU was within 18-17 before UA closed with a 7-2 run. Arizona took the second set 25-17, but Butler answered in the third set. The Dawgs owned a 16-14 lead before the Wildcats answered to pull ahead 21-18. Butler was within 24-22 before a service error clinched the match for Arizona, which had been ranked 18th in the nation a week ago.
"I thought, point-for-point, we kept up with them well," head coach Sharon Clark said. "Arizona is an experienced team. They had several seniors on the floor and were able to pull away at the end of each set."
Butler rebounded with a sound victory over Cal State Bakersfield, a new NCAA Division I school not affiliated with a conference. CSUB claimed the first set 25-20 before BU swept the rest of the match. Senior Jessica Wolfe had 20 kills and hit .425 to lead the Bulldogs, who have won two of their past three matches. Junior Maureen Bamiro added 12 kills en route to hitting .435 and sophomore Gina Vera handed out 48 assists, an average of 12.00 per set.
After falling behind 1-0 in the match, Bakersfield and Butler were locked in a close second set until BU managed to pull ahead 17-14. A few points later, aces by freshmen Claire Randich and Maggie Harbison gave BU a 21-17 and forced a CSUB timeout. Another service ace, this time by senior Susan Lester, put the Dawgs ahead 24-19 en route to winning the second set 25-20.
The Bulldogs (2-4) found themselves down 8-3 in the third set before ripping off a 10-5 run to tie the set at 13 and force a timeout. Consecutive kills by Randich and Harbison and a pair of Randich aces would put BU up 22-18. BU would take set 3, 25-19.
Butler romped in the fifth set, climbing out to a 19-7 lead and never looking back. Butler would finish the match with a 5-0 run and a 25-11 clinching win.
Clark said the difference was ball control setting up the BU offense. Butler hit a season-high .333 for the match.
"We had great ball control in the second half of the match," the 11th-year coach said. "Gina Vera kept them off balance with her passing and Jessica was hitting well. Maureen was unstoppable at times. We played really well offensively."
Butler's match vs. Louisville is at 2 p.m. ET. That would be 11 a.m. Mountain Standard Time.