Oct. 22, 2004
Butler opened the second round of Horizon League matches with a strong performance Friday, sweeping the visiting Raiders of Wright State, 30-25, 30-14, 30-27, in just 80 minutes. Seniors Areal Bienemy and Kali Carter had 13 and 12 kills, respectively, to lead the Bulldogs, who improve to 12-8 (7-1 Horizon League) with the win. The Raiders fall to 3-18 (1-7).
Senior Sara Gallagher narrowly missed a double-double with nine digs and 38 assists, leading the team to a .271 hitting percentage. Sophomores Susana Henri and Krystal Hendrix chipped in with nine and seven kills, respectively. Junior libero Megan Knightly had a match-high 16 digs, her 22nd consecutive match with double figures in digs.
"We're very pleased with the offensive performance we turned in tonight," said coach Sharon Clark. "It was just fantastic. Our ball control really stood out tonight and we had exceptional serving by everyone. This is a great way to start the second round of league matches."
Carter and Bienemy combined for 11 kills in the opening frame, as Butler used .286 hitting and four blocks to take the first game, 30-25. The Bulldogs rolled in the second game, enjoying at least an eight-point advantage from midway through the game. Butler had 17 kills, while the Raiders hit -.025 in the 30-14 decision.
After the break, Wright State re-grouped to hold a four-point lead throughout much of the third game. Down 21-17, the Bulldogs would win eight straight points on Knightly's serve to take a 25-21 lead. Wright State tried to stop the momentum by using both their timeouts during the run. A few points later, the Raiders strung together three consecutive points to pull within one at 28-27. Following a timeout called by Clark, the Bulldogs got a Carter kill and a Wright State error to take the game and the match.
Butler had eight blocks to only two for the Raiders and recorded seven service aces, including four by Carter. The crowd was the liveliest of the season for Butler, as several hundred Girl Scouts packed Hinkle for Girl Scout night. The fieldhouse was filled with a loud roar for much of the night.
McKenzie Tiffin led the Raiders with ten kills.
The Bulldogs take their last break from Horizon League play tomorrow (Sat., Oct. 23) afternoon, hosting the Bison of North Dakota State in a 4 p.m. match. Butler returns to league play Friday, Oct. 29 with a home match against Youngstown State. The Bulldogs are assured of entering that match with at least a share of the league lead.