October 6, 2012

Saint Louis Edges Butler

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Junior Maggie Harbison led all players with 14 kills on .351 hitting but an off night serving cost the Butler volleyball team in a 3-1 loss at Saint Louis on Saturday. Junior Claire Randich, who didn't practice this week due to an injury, added nine kills on .304 hitting and had five blocks.

"Maggie had a great night and Claire was solid after being out all week," head coach Sharon Clark said. "It was fairly even with the exception of service errors. And Saint Louis had a great night hitting." 

SLU (6-13, 1-4) hit .213 and had 11 more kills than Butler, which committed an uncharacteristic 11 service errors in the match. BU entered the weekend among the national leaders in service aces and usually show a strong service game.

Sophomore Brooke Ruffolo had a match-high 24 digs, good for 6.00 per set. Sophomore Erica Stahl led the Bulldogs with six blocks. 

SLU jumped on Butler early, leading 10-5 and eventually 20-14. At 20-15, BU got three points to pull within 20-18 but the Billikens used a kill and a key block to lead 23-19. A kill by SLU's Anna Church clinched the set 25-22.

The Bulldogs (11-8, 1-4) had their best stretch of the night in the second set, jumping out to early leads of 8-3 and 14-9. With Ruffolo serving, Harbison had two kills in a row and the Bulldogs led 18-12. SLU closed to 23-21 and Butler called timeout. After the break, a Stahl kill and a block by Stahl and sophomore Belle Obert finished the set for BU 25-21.

SLU edged BU 25-22 in the third set despite Butler at one point owning a 20-19 lead. The host Billikens then controlled the fourth set 25-19 to finish the 3-1 win. 

"We need to fight and win the tough points down the stretch," Clark said.

Chruch led Saint Louis with 13 kills, 20 digs and four blocks. Grace Bonoma had 20 digs and Lauren Baumet added 12 kills.

Butler will be on the road next weekend as well. BU is at Charlotte and VCU next weekend Oct. 11-13.