The Valparaiso volleyball team suffered its first sweep of the 2010 season Friday night, falling in straight sets (25-14, 25-20, 25-19) to Butler in Indianapolis, Ind.
A pair of Bulldog errors tied up the first set at six apiece, but Butler then ran off six straight points to earn a 12-6 advantage. Sophomore Mary Dent (Chicago, Ill./Von Steuben) briefly slowed the Bulldogs' momentum with a kill, but they responded with four more points in a row to cap a 10-1 run with Butler leading 16-7. Valpo couldn't close to any closer than eight points the rest of the way as the Bulldogs claimed the opener.
The second set was tied at six apiece as well, but again it was Butler putting together a 5-0 run to claim an 11-6 advantage. The Bulldogs extended their lead to as much as 21-13, but Valpo responded with a 5-1 spurt, including kills by junior Amy Groesbeck (Wheaton, Ill./North) and freshman Kelsey Victor (Logansport, Ind./Logansport), to close within 22-18. Valpo remained within four points and fought off Butler's first set point chance on another Victor kill to make it 24-20, but the Bulldogs converted on their second opportunity to go into the in-game break up two sets.
Butler started the third set with its momentum from the first two sets, jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead. Valpo wouldn't let the Bulldogs run away with the frame, though, as with the score 13-8, Victor tallied two kills and seniors Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) and Katie Layman (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) added kills in a 5-1 run that closed the Crusaders within 14-13. But Valpo could not knot up the set, as the Bulldogs tallied the next two points before the two squads sided out the next 11 points. Victor registered another kill to make it 23-19, but Butler tallied kills on each of the match's final two points to close out the sweep.
Valpo hit just .157 with 35 kills on Friday, with no Crusader racking up more than seven kills, a total shared by Groesbeck and freshman Sarah Dooms (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove). Victor tied her career best with five kills as well. Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) paced Valpo on the back line with 11 digs.
Butler (13-7, 8-1 Horizon) was led by 14 kills on .500 hitting by Maureen Bamiro, while Jessica Wolfe added 12 kills on .458 hitting. Gina Vera dished out 41 assists as the Bulldogs hit .307 with 47 kills for the match. Maggie Harbison tallied a match-best 19 kills, while Bamiro also led all players with four blocks.
Valparaiso (16-5, 5-4 Horizon) looks to rebound on Saturday afternoon with a short trip over to Dayton, Ohio to take on Wright State. First serve against the Raiders is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT, and all the action can be seen and heard live at www.valpoathletics.com, with the audio also available locally on WVUR, 95.1 FM. Links for live stats and live chat will also be available through the official Crusader website.