Butler def. Nevada 25-21, 29-27, 27-25
PORTLAND - Playing its second match of the day, the Butler volleyball team dug deep and picked up a 3-0 win over Nevada Friday night at the Portland Classic. BU held Nevada to .067 hitting in the victory.
Each set was close, but the Bulldogs won the key points each time to clinch a sweep. The two teams traded points throughout the first set, featuring nine ties. Butler trailed 15-14 but then ripped off a key 6-1 run to lead 20-16. The run was spurred by three Harbison kills and several Nevada attack errors. The two teams traded points down the stretch until Butler clinched 25-21.
Nevada (0-5) led 6-3 early in the second set before the teams would once again play even. A kill by Bamiro tied it 7-7. Seven more tied scores followed until it was knotted 16-16. Nevada appeared to have control of the set leading 21-17 before a furious rally helped BU come back. With Harbison serving, the Dawgs ran off six straight points to take a 23-21 lead. The key point came after a Wolfpack timeout and BU pulled within 21-19. Bamiro combined on a block with freshman Stephanie Kranda for the point. Butler went on to score three of the next four points to set up match point.
"Stephanie Kranda stepped up tonight and had a huge match for us," head coach Sharon Clark said. "She had a great match as did Brooke Ruffolo in her first time playing the libero position. The two freshmen got it done for us. It's a great confidence boost to get a win under our belt."
The Wolfpack won the next three points for a set point of their own at 25-24. Moments later, at 27-27, Butler got a kill from Harbison and a Nevada attack error to win 29-27.
The third set was nearly as close, but it didn't start that way. Nevada led 8-2 early, but Butler had another comeback ready. Trailing 14-9, Butler was able to chip away and cut the lead to 16-14. With Kranda serving, Butler went on a run to tie it 18-18. Nevada led 21-20 when Butler got three straight points to lead 23-21. Nevada tied the set 23-23 to force a Butler timeout. The teams would go on to trade points until Butler had set point at 25-24. Nevada answerd, but BU got the final two points to clinch the match. The final point was a block by Harbison and junior Rachel Barber with Kyle serving.
Butler (1-5) will finish its 4-match weekend in Portland Saturday, Sept. 3 against Washington State. The Bulldogs open at home Tuesday, Sept. 6 vs. Chicago State.