Chicago, Ill. - Jessica Wolfe notched her 11th double-double of the season, Maureen Bamiro added a career-high 12 kills on a team-best .550 hitting percentage and the Bulldogs combined to hit .263 as a team, but the offensive effort would leave Butler just short, as host UIC held on for a 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 decision at the Flames Athletic Center on Friday (Nov. 7) evening.
The loss drops the Bulldogs to 18-8 on the season and 8-6 in Horizon League play, while the Flames improve to 12-14 overall and 5-8 in conference.
The two squads battled through 20 ties and nine lead changes in the match, including 12 ties in the opening set. Butler climbed back from an early 7-3 deficit to bring the bout even at 7-7 before taking its first lead of the contest at 14-13. The Bulldogs continued to stave off the Flames and led by one as late as 19-18, but UIC would retake the lead on back-to-back points and never trail the rest of the way in claiming the first set.
The second set would feature much of the same, as the teams traded the lead five times and wound up deadlocked on eight more occasions before the game was settled. The Bulldogs would overcome another four-point shortcoming early on before riding a 5-0 run out to a 19-15 lead with its sights set on evening the match at one game apiece.
The Flames had other ideas, however, as UIC used a 7-1 stretch to take a 22-20 advantage before holding on for another close victory.
UIC would come out strong following the break, running out to a quick 11-5 margin and keeping at least a two-point edge for the duration of the set. Butler would attempt a late rally, breaking four-straight match points to cut a 24-18 difference down to two, but the Flames would hold on for the decisive point to claim the sweep.
Butler out-hit the Flames, .263 to .229, but UIC's seven more kills (49 to 42) helped to make up the difference in the end.
Wolfe finished tied for the team-high with 12 kills and added 10 digs for her 11th double-double of the year, while Bamiro also knocked down 12 kills while hitting an impressive .550 (12-1-20) to lead the team. Porshia Allen added nine kills while Kelsey Labrum chipped in eight on .444 hitting (8-0-18).
Butler returns to action on Saturday (Nov. 8) when it takes on Loyola beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET.