October 15, 2011

Bulldogs Sweep Vikings

Butler def. Cleveland State 25-23, 25-14, 29-27

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Butler volleyball team picked up perhaps its best win of the season Saturday afternoon, sweeping Cleveland State on the road 3-0. BU has now won five straight matches.

"It was a great week for Butler volleyball, winning two tough matches on the road," head coach Sharon Clark said. "It says a lot about the character of this team to go into a tough competitive environment and beat the No. 2 team in the league the way we did."

The Bulldogs, led by freshman Belle Obert (12-3-28) and senior Maureen Bamiro (10-0-17), hit .301 as a team and had half as many attack errors as Cleveland State committed.

Defensively, Obert and Bamiro each had four blocks and freshman Brooke Ruffolo had 19 digs (6.33 per set).

"This was the first time this season we have played to our potential," Clark said when asked if the win in Cleveland was the team's best this season.

Butler (10-12, 6-4) is picking up momentum at the right time. BU recently had a four-match losing streak, but that seems like ancient history as the Dawgs have won five straight matches over a 12-day span. Butler won three times at home last week before sweeping the Northeast Ohio weekend.

Kara Koch led CSU with 16 kills, six digs and two aces. Amy Grabiec added 16 digs.

Butler edged out CSU in a closely-contested first set. A key stretch came with CSU leading 17-16 when Butler scored three straight points to lead 19-17. Leading 20-19, BU once again got three straight points to lead 23-19. Butler had two set-points before finishing the set 25-23.

The second set wasn't very close, as BU led 15-9 at the first timeout. It was 20-14 when BU finished the set with five straight points. Freshman Kelly Kyle did the serving during that stretch. 

The third set was tight was CSU tried to keep its chances alive. The two teams traded points and the lead all the way until a Cleveland State set-point at 24-23. Butler answered, and would eventually get a set-point of its own at 26-25. CSU answered, and soon the set was tied 27-27. The Bulldogs then got the next two points to clinch the set and the match sweep.

Butler will play league-leading Milwaukee Saturday, Oct. 22 at Hinkle Fieldhouse at 4 p.m. It's Homecoming Saturday at Butler University.