September 3, 2011

Bulldogs Finish Portland Tourney vs. Washington State

Washington State def. Butler 25-16, 25-12, 23-25, 26-24

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Butler volleyball team battled and played two close sets Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 loss to Washington State. The match against the WSU, a Pac-12 opponent, was BU's final contest at the University of Portland Classic.

After Washington State quickly claimed a 2-0 match lead, the Bulldogs stormed back to take the third set. The fourth set ended up a back-and-forth 26-24 finish.

"We played well and fought tough but couldn't counter their big points at the end," head coach Sharon Clark said. "This team has grown quite a bit this weekend."

In Butler's winning third set, the Cougars actually jumped out to early leads of 5-0 and later 11-4. A kill by freshman Kelly Kyle would later pull BU within 15-11. Trailing 18-11, the Bulldogs ripped off a momentum-building 8-2 run. That got Butler to within 20-19. Another kill by Kyle moments later tied the set 21-21 and BU scored the next point to take a 22-21 lead. After a Washington State timeout, Butler continued to attack, scoring the next two points for set point at 24-21. Butler called timeout as WSU pulled to 24-23, but a service error on Washington State clinched the set for BU.

Butler (1-6) continued to hold its own in the fourth set, with the two teams playing to a 19-17 lead for WSU. The Cougars got the next two points to lead 21-17 and force a BU timeout. Butler got a pair of kills from junior Gina Vera and two errors by Washington State and would tie the set 23-23. At 24-24, Washington State got a kill and an ace to clinch the close set and the 3-1 match victory. 

Kyle led the Dawgs with 12 kills, 10 digs and three blocks. The 6-1 newcomer from Crawfordsville, Ind., had three double-doubles this season. Senior Maureen Bamiro was impressive as a blocker, posting two solo blocks and seven block assists. Freshman Brooke Ruffolo had 19 digs. 

"Maureen came up with some big blocking against a great Pac-12 outside hitter," Clark added.

WSU, which improved to 5-1 on the year, was led by Megan Ganzer with 19 kills on .333 hitting. The Cougar setter, Camryn Irwin, totaled 43 assists and 16 digs. 

Butler will play at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the first time in 2011 Tuesday, Sept. 6. Chicago State will come to campus with the first serve at 7 p.m.

"We are very much looking forward to playing at home in Hinkle," Clark said.