TUCSON, Ariz. – Butler's four-match winning streak came to an end on Friday night as the team fell 3-0 at Arizona in the first game of the Desert Classic. Butler dropped the first set 25-11, but came back with two competitive sets in two and three falling 25-19 and 25-20.
The Bulldogs posted sub-par attack percentages as a team in all three sets against the Wildcats. Erica Stahl and Maggie Harbison were the most effective hitters on Friday as the duo hit .333 and .273 respectively. Stahl provided the team with four blocks and Harbison ended the night with five kills in her first action of the season.
Butler didn't serve the ball well against Arizona as the club managed to go all three sets without a service ace. Morgan Peterson did her best to set up the hitters with 17 assists and Belle Obert led the team with nine kills. Defensively, Brooke Ruffolo tallied a team-high 16 digs and the team posted seven blocks.
The duo of Madi Kingdon and Jan Croson led Arizona to victory. Kingdon led all players with 16 kills and Croson posted a double-double with 13 kills and 11 digs. Arizona hit .382 in the opening set to take a dominating 25-11 win in the opener and the team held off the Butler charge in sets two and three to improve to 3-1 on the young season.
Arizona jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the first set and went on a late 4-0 run to earn the 25-11 win. Set two looked like it would go down to the wire, but another late run by the Wildcats pushed Arizona over the top as a 19-19 tie turned into a 25-19 win giving the 'Cats a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
The final set was more of the same from Butler as a cold streak at the end of the contest gave Arizona the 3-0 win. Harbison gave Butler a 19-15 advantage with a kill off a Natalie Wichern assist, but the Wildcats would outscore Butler 10-1 down the stretch to earn the win.
Butler will have a chance to improve their overall record with a 3:30 match vs. Utah Valley followed by a night game against Eastern Kentucky.