Cleveland, Ohio - Junior Porshia Allen notched her team-leading 11th double-double of the season and the Bulldogs tallied a three-set best 61 digs, but the effort would not be enough as host Cleveland State squeaked out a 25-21, 25-22, 25-22 decision over Butler at Woodling Gymnasium on Friday (Oct. 31) evening.
The defeat sends the Bulldogs to 17-7 on the season and 7-5 in Horizon League play, while the Vikings improve to 6-16 overall and 5-7 in conference.
The two teams battled through 10 ties in a tight opening set that saw the Vikings go ahead by two early on before the Bulldogs rallied back to take a two-point margin of their own at 10-8. A 5-0 run by CSU, however, would turn a slim one-point Butler advantage into a four-point deficit at 18-14. The Bulldogs would battle back to within two at 21-19, but the Vikings would hold on in the end to take the first point of the match.
CSU would jump out to a quick 5-0 lead at the start of the second set before the Bulldogs rallied back for four-straight points of their own to close to within one. A 6-1 run by the Vikings put Butler back in a hole at 15-9, but the Bulldogs would again respond with a five-point trek of their own to bring the bout back to one point at 15-14.
The back-and-forth pace of the set would continue late, as the Vikings built up a six-point edge at 21-15 only to have the Bulldogs cut the difference in half with three-straight points. After CSU put itself on set point at 24-20, Butler knocked down back-to-back scores to trim the short-coming to two while staving off defeat momentarily, but the Vikings would earn the decisive kill on the ensuing play to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
A quick start to the third set by the Vikings would doom the Bulldogs, as CSU jumped out to a 9-1 and would never trail despite a valiant Butler charge.
Back-to-back blocks from Allen, Jalesa Lee and Jessica Wolfe and a pair of kills from Wolfe keyed a 5-0 surge and helped the Bulldogs trim an eight point deficit down to three at 13-10. Butler continued to nip at the Vikings heels, as another kill by Wolfe brought the Bulldogs to within two at 21-19 before a kill by Lee and a CSU attack error put Butler down just a point at 23-22.
Successive kills by Cleveland State would end the comeback attempt, however, as the Vikings hung on for a 25-22 win in the deciding set.
Allen finished with 10 kills and 10 digs for her 11th double-double of the season, Wolfe finished with nine kills and a team-high six blocks and Lee boasted a team-best .333 attack percentage (4-0-12). Dana Daprile added 31 assists, while Katie Daprile picked up a team-high 18 digs.
Butler's 61 digs in the bout were a season-high for a three-set match.
The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday (Nov. 1) when it takes on host Youngstown State beginning at 4:00 p.m.