Defense Halts Maine As Bulldogs Claim 3-0 Sweep
Buffalo, N.Y. - Jessica Wolfe and Porshia Allen combined for 25 kills and the Bulldogs totaled 10 blocks, as Butler held off Maine in a closely-contested 27-25, 25-23, 25-23 sweep of the Black Bears at the Buffalo Ramada Invitational on Friday (Sept. 12) evening.
Butler finished with double-figure blocks for the third straight match while holding Maine to just .127 hitting in the bout.
The win sends the Bulldogs to 9-1 on the year and gives them their eighth -straight victory, marking the program's best start and the longest winning streak since the 1997 season.
The Bulldogs got out to a quick start in the match, running ahead to an 8-2 advantage and leading by six as late as 15-9. Maine would crawl back into the bout, however, riding a 9-4 run to climb to within one before thwarting three set points to draw even at 24-24. After the two sides traded points to stay even at 25 all, Allen delivered with back-to-back kills to seal the bout in favor of the Bulldogs.
Butler found itself on the short end for much of the second set, as Maine worked its way to an 8-4 lead before holding on to a 20-18 advantage late in the game, but the Bulldogs responded with a 6-1 surge to put them at set point at 24-21. The Black Bears looked as though they would spoil the Bulldogs efforts once again, recording back-to-back points to get to within one, but a Maine service error ended the comeback there and gave Butler a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Bulldogs had to play catch-up after the break, as the Black Bears raced ahead to a 10-3 lead and built up an eight-point advantage at 17-9. Six Maine errors and eight points later, however, Butler found itself dead even at 17-17 and right back into the set.
The two teams traded points and remained deadlocked at 22-22, but a kill by Wolfe and a solo block by Jalesa Lee put the Bulldogs at match point. Maine got a kill on the next service to get back to within one, but Wolfe answered with a kill of her own to put the match away.
Butler claimed its second win in the tournament despite finishing with five fewer kills that Maine (42-to-37).
Wolfe led all players with 13 kills, while Allen followed with 12. Lee paced the Bulldogs with six total blocks - including two solos - while Katie Daprile finished with 10 digs.
Butler returns to action on Saturday (Sept. 13) when it battles host Buffalo beginning at 11:00 a.m.