Bulldogs Block IUPUI In 5 Sets

Bulldogs Block IUPUI In 5 Sets
Maggie Harbison

INDIANAPOLIS - Missing a starter and with players playing out of position, the Butler volleyball team blocked its way to a 3-2 win at IUPUI on Tuesday night. Butler had 19 team blocks, holding IUPUI to .128 hitting on the night.

"IUPUI is always a tough match. They're a tough team who makes you earn your points," head coach Sharon Clark said. "We had everyone playing out of position all over the place, but that's going to be tough to do no matter who we play. I thought our kids held it together really well. It was a good battle and I'm happy we got this win."

Sophomore Erica Stahl led Butler with nine blocks, while juinor Claire Randich added seven stops. Junior Maggie Harbison had a game-high 21 kills with nine digs and four blocks. Junior Morgan Peterson handed out 53 assists and added 15 digs. Sophomore Brooke Ruffolo led BU in digs with 17.

"Blocking was the difference tonight," Clark said. "Sixteen blocks. That's a lot of blocks."

Down 2-1, the Bulldogs grinded out a win in the fourth set and dominated the fifth set to hang on for the win. It was the second time BU has been down 2-1 this season and held on to win. The Bulldogs won 3-2 at DePaul, trailing 2-1 before pulling off the win.

"That made a big difference for us," Clark said. "We had been there before and our girls had confidence and knew they could win."

Butler (5-2) led IUPUI 9-2 in the deciding set before the Jaguars made a comeback. At 9-6, BU won three straight points to lead 12-6.

Butler started the night by leading 3-0 in the first set, but little else went BU's way as it lost the first set 25-19. IUPUI went on a 6-1 run to lead 6-4 and the Jaguars went on to pull away.

What seemed like a completely different Butler team took the court in the second set. The Bulldogs used six blocks and held IUPUI to -.118 hitting in the set, dominating for a 25-13 win. Stahl herself had four blocks as BU evened the match 1-1.

After Butler had won so convincingly in the second set, the third set was the pivotal moment of the evening. The early moments of the set were tight, with IUPUI leading 7-6. That's when the Jaguars got the next six points to build a 13-6 lead. The lead extended to as much as 17-8 before Butler rallied. BU got to within 24-20 at one point, but IUPUI held on to take the set 25-20.

Butler is at home this weekend, hosting Western Illinois, Stephen F. Austin and Indiana this coming Friday and Saturday. Butler will play Western Illinois Friday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. and SFA at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs and Hoosiers will play Saturday at 6 p.m.