September 11, 2004

Butler Drops Tough Five-Game Decision to Close Invitational

Sept. 11, 2004

On the heels of a five-game match earlier in the day and with a roster hit by a case of the flu, the Bulldogs still managed a solid effort in the finale of the Butler Invitational, presented by Wyndham Hotels. Visiting Bradley prevailed 30-18, 29-31, 22-30, 30-26, 15-13 in a well-played match that saw the teams combine for 165 kills compared to just 48 hitting errors.

The Bulldogs fall to 3-4 on the young season, while Bradley leaves Hinkle Fieldhouse with a matching record. Senior Kali Carter continued her hot play with 25 kills and 12 digs on .291 hitting. Senior Areal Bienemy joined Carter on the Invitational's "All-Tournament Team" by posting 21 kills and five blocks. Junior libero Megan Knightly had a team-high 27 digs, while senior setter Sara Gallagher posted 51 assists as the Bulldogs hit .259 for the match.

"We had two tough matches today," said coach Sharon Clark. "We fought hard, but we could never get over the hump. It was encouraging to see our younger players come in and contribute when we needed them. Laura (White) did an excellent job tonight and Michelle (DeGeeter) came up big for us, hitting .368. Meg almost posted 30 digs tonight. Sometimes we overlook her because of how consistent she is, but she has really played well this season."

Bradley opened the evening quickly, hitting .341 in the opening game. The Braves took a 30-18 decision behind six kills from "All-Tournament Team" performer Lindsay Stalzer. The Bulldogs fought off a match point in the second game, winning the thriller 31-29, as Bienemy threw down eight kills in the game. Butler's hitting improved from .150 in the opening game to .326 in the second.

Butler got even stronger in the third game, winning 30-22 behind .408 hitting. The Bulldogs had just two hitting errors in the stanza. Bradley rebounded in the fourth game to push the match to a deciding fifth game. In the final frame, the Braves overcame an early deficit to win 15-13.

Stalzer led the Braves with 26 kills, while libero Gillian Falknor posted a match-high 28 digs. Ashley Vance handed out 73 assists as the Braves hit .279.

Butler continues the 2004 campaign Tuesday with a home match against St. Louis. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Butler Invitational, presented by Wyndham Hotels "All-Tournament Team:"
Suzi Terrell, JSU (MVP)
Shari Weyer, JSU
Lindsay Stalzer, Bradley
Amber DeBroux, Bradley
Kali Carter, Butler
Areal Bienemy, Butler

Team Champions: Jacksonville State (3-0)