The last time the women’s volleyball team faced off against Butler, it was able to come back after being down 2-1 at the end of the first three sets. This time around, the Bulldogs were able to finish the job.
The Wildcats headed over to Indianapolis for a rematch with the Bulldogs. They couldn’t replicate the same success from earlier in the season, losing 3-1 on Friday night.
Butler won in four sets, 25-22, 19-25, 25-14, 25-22.
The Bulldogs raced out to an early 9-3 lead in the first set. Later, the Wildcats would tie it up at 14, thanks to a six point rally. During this stretch, Claire Crutchfield had four kills. Crutchfield finished the game with a team-high 15 kills.
Butler broke the tie and got the separation it needed to take control. Mary Striedl placed the finishing touches with a kill to give her team the first set.
The second set was a different story. At first, neither team was able to get a clear grasp of it. Butler took a 13-10 lead, but Villanova countered with a 6-0 run to take control. The Wildcats built a comfortable lead that they rode to the end of the set.
Mary Striedl, who made the final point of the first set, gave Villanova the set point it needed when she hit the ball out of bounds. The Wildcats tied the game with the second set.
The pivotal third set was the most one-sided of them all. Butler raced out to a 16-10 lead. Amanda Pedersen-Henry followed it up with a kill of her own to allow the Wildcats to inch closer. However, the Bulldogs answered back with an onslaught of scoring.
Makayla Ferguson capped off a 6-0 run for the Bulldogs, giving them their largest lead at any point in the game. Butler held a 21-11 lead late in the third set. It was far too much for the Wildcats to overcome, and a kill by Anna Logan put them one set away from beating Villanova.
Anna Logan led the way for the Bulldogs with 17 kills, 13 digs, and three assists.
Butler continued to ride the momentum into the fourth set. The Bulldogs had a quick start, taking control early in the set. They had a 15-11 lead over the Wildcats, until they started to get ahead of themselves. The Wildcats took advantage of a number of attack errors in order to tie the set at 16.
On the ensuing series, Villanova’s Emma Pettit assisted Claire Crutchfield on a kill to take the lead for the first time in the set. Butler refused to go down quietly. Tensions rose as the game changed to a gritty, close match.
Unfortunately for Villanova, three straight Butler points down the stretch gave it little room for error. The Bulldogs now had a 24-21 lead and were one point away from winning the game.
A service error by Striedl gave Villanova a chance. However, an attack error sealed the deal for Villanova.
Allie Loitz was second to Crutchfield in kills for Villanova, finishing with 13. She also had 16 digs to complement them. Amanda Pedersen-Henry chipped in 10 kills.
For Butler, Mary Striedl had 12 kills and 18 digs. Jessica Klingensmith added 10 kills and four digs. Makayla Ferguson ended the night with seven kills and 44 assists.
The Bulldogs improve to 10-16 and 6-7 in Big East play.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats are now 21-6 and 11-3 in conference play. They will now travel to Cincinnati for a game against Xavier before heading back home. The game begins at 7 p.m.