Milwaukee, Wis. - Butler totaled double-figure blocks in its eighth match of the year, but the steady defense would not be enough as host Milwaukee held off the Bulldogs, 25-16, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, at the Klotsche Center on Friday (Sept. 26) evening.
Senior setter Dana Daprile finished with a team-best seven kills and 23 assists, while sophomore middle blocker Jalesa Lee added six kills and a team-high five block assists as the Bulldogs fell to 11-3 on the year and 1-1 in Horizon League play. The Panthers, meanwhile, improve to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in conference.
Butler found itself quickly on the short end in the opening set, as Milwaukee ran out to an 11-3 advantage before rolling to a 25-16 win and a swift 1-0 lead in the match.
The two squads made things interesting in the second period, however, as Butler battled UWM to a 10-10 deadlock before the Panthers used a 6-2 run to take a four-point edge in the set. The Bulldogs closed the gap to three at 21-18 but could get no closer, as Milwaukee used a 3-0 surge to reach set point before scoring a 25-21 win and a 2-0 lead at the break.
After the Panthers took a quick 1-0 lead in the third set, the Bulldogs reeled off five-straight points to take a 5-1 advantage; a lead they never relinquished in the game. Butler built up as much as a nine-point margin at 17-9 before the Panthers rallied on a 9-2 run to close the deficit to one at 19-18. The Bulldogs would prevail in the end, scoring five-straight points to get back into the bout at 2-1.
Butler seemed on the brink of bringing the match back to even midway through the fourth set, as the Bulldogs held a two-point lead at 17-15 following a kill by Porshia Allen. An ensuing 9-1 run by Milwaukee, however, would erase much of a chance of a comeback, as the Panthers built up a 24-18 lead before holding on for the deciding bout.
The Bulldogs finished with 10 blocks in the match, the seventh-straight match with at least nine blocks by the team.
Lee tallied a team-high five block assists while hitting a team-best .750 (6-0-8) in the match.
Butler returns to action on Saturday (Sept. 27) when it takes on Green Bay beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET at the Kress Events Center.