Aug. 31, 2002
The Butler volleyball team fell to Saint Louis in the championship match of the Billiken Invitational on Saturday (Aug. 31). The Bulldogs' five-game loss, 24-30, 30-28, 30-16, 20-30, 11-15, dropped the team to 2-1 on the season, while the hosts improved to 3-0. This was the second consecutive year that the two teams had met in the championship match of a non-conference tournament, as Butler defeated Saint Louis in five games at the Butler/Double Tree Invitational last season.
Butler fell behind 11-6 in game one, and never could catch up as the Billikens would continue to build an insurmountable lead, winning 30-24.
Butler regrouped quickly and burst out to a 5-0 lead in game two. The Bulldogs looked as though they might pull away, with a 22-15 advantage midway through the game, but Saint Louis fought back, pulling ahead 28-26 down the stretch. SLU senior Colleen Hunter proved to be just as potent from the service line as she was attacking, rattling off six straight service points during that period. Then it was the Bulldogs' turn to counter, as two SLU hitting errors and a pair of Butler kills would give the visitors the hard-fought 30-28 win.
Butler would again grab an early lead, taking an 11-5 advantage. Freshman Megan Knightly's seven consecutive service points and defensive prowess in the back row helped the Bulldogs lead quickly grow to double figures as the squad went on to capture game three, 30-16. The Bulldogs, who were paced by Keely Norris' four kills (4-0-4) in the game, hit .448 as a team.
A 10-10 tie in game four quickly grew into an 18-12 Billiken lead. Hitting errors plagued the Butler attack, as the squad hit .075 on the game, while falling 30-20 to the hosts.
Hunter fueled the Billikens early in the deciding game, pounding down two quick kills to give SLU an early 4-1 advantage. Saint Louis' lead grew to 10-5, before the Bulldogs began to mount a comeback, pulling to within a point, 11-10. But, the Billikens would take advantage of several mishandled Butler passes, eventually capturing the 15-11 victory.
Senior Keely Norris registered her 1,000th kill early in game one of the match, as she led the Bulldogs with 15 kills. Knightly put forth a complete effort, recording a double-double of 14 kills and 20 digs, while Amanda Matthews dished out 54 assists and added 18 digs. Norris and classmate Laura Klancnik were named to the all-tournament team.
Hunter ended the match with 25 kills, 20 digs and eight total blocks, earning her tournament MVP honors. Teammate Brooke Minniear added 15 kills and 25 digs, while Beth Middendorf had 48 assists.