Oct. 10, 2003
Butler coach Sharon Clark said what everyone in the Horizon League has been proving over the last few weeks: "Every team is good in this league. There aren't any easy matches." The Bulldogs found themselves fighting their way back into a match Friday night when Cleveland State won two consecutive games to go ahead, 2-1. But, just as the Bulldogs did last weekend against Wright State, they stepped up down the stretch and defended their homecourt in five games.
Butler's 30-24, 29-31, 28-30, 30-23, 15-11 win improved the Bulldogs to 13-6 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the Horizon League. The Vikings fell to 12-9 (1-4) on the season. Candice Washington led the Bulldogs with 26 kills on .553 (26-5-38) hitting. In addition, four Bulldogs registered double-doubles in the five-game thriller.
"The great thing is we're digging deep and finding ways to beat good teams," said Clark. "Coming up big time and time again in these game fives is what impresses me about this group."
Senior setter Amanda Matthews set a new career high with 68 assists, while adding 10 digs. Krystal Hendrix had 12 kills and 10 digs. Megan Knightly posted 13 kills and 12 digs in another impressive all-around effort, while junior Kali Carter stretched her current streak of double-doubles to six with 17 kills and 12 digs.
But it was Washington who came up with the big kill for the Bulldogs time and again. The offensive explosion from Washington was needed as the Bulldogs focused much of their effort on the Vikings' star Jamie Bouyer. The attention was successful as the junior had only eight kills and hit -.038 (8-9-26) on the night.
Freshman libero Alyssa Cress added 15 digs on the night, the 17th time she's registered double figures in digs in the team's 19 matches.
"Alyssa and Amanda never get as much credit as they deserve since they don't get the kills, but they start everything that this team does," said Clark. "Alyssa continues to bring us close to 20 digs a night and Amanda does everything for us out there."
The Vikings hit .191 (64-31-173) for the match, compared to the Bulldogs' .288 (80-27-184) mark. Nickole Kennedy led the visitors with 16 kills and libero Alisa Hatcher posted 14 digs.
The Bulldogs don't have long to recover from the five-game ordeal as Youngstown State comes to Hinkle Fieldhouse Saturday at 4 p.m. The Penguins (8-8, 1-4) won't be as fresh as they'd like either, however, after dropping a five-game decision Friday night at Wright State.