SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – The Butler volleyball team lost all four matches over the weekend at the Wyo-Braska Shootout, falling to 7-9 overall on the season. The Grizzlies have now lost seven of their last eight matches.
Butler was swept by both #7 Western Wyoming (23-25, 19-25, 15-25) and Northwest (Wyo.) College (21-25, 22-25, 13-25) on Friday, then lost to Sheridan College (15-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-18) and Laramie County (15-25, 24-26, 26-24, 26-28) on Saturday by a 3-1 score.
"We may not have liked the end results, but we found out what it was like to play national-caliber teams," said Butler head coach Rick Younger. "We had a couple of glitches but the ladies learned to fight back."
Against Western Wyoming, Butler dropped a close first set 25-23, but the deficit increased over the final two sets. Freshman Rebecca Sewald had a great match with 10 kills, hitting .429 and also adding two blocks. Sophomore libero Jessica Schwartz had a great passing game, passing at a 2.85 out of 3.
Northwest College, who finished eighth at last year's NJCAA Division I Naitonal Tournament, edged Butler in the first two sets before winning the final set by 12 points. The Grizzlies had six players with three kills each in the match.
On Saturday, Butler recovered from a 10-point first-set loss against Sheridan to even up the match, but lost the final two sets. Freshman Rachael Buzanowski led the Grizzlies with 10 kills and a block, while sophomore Lexi Wartick had eight kills and two blocks. Sophomore setter Mary Kangas had 22 assists and 15 digs, Jessica Schwartz had 19 digs and one ace. Sophomore outside hitter Mackenzie Stuever had five kills and three blocks.
Against Laramie, Butler lost the first two sets, then won the third set by a 26-24 margin. However, Laramie took the final set 28-26 to win the match. Rachael Buzanowski had 11 kills, two aces and four blocks. Lexie Wartick had nine kills, while Mackenzie Stuever also had nine kills and three blocks. Jessica Schwartz led the Grizzlies with 24 digs, while Mary Kangas had a team-high 26 assists. Freshman Hanna McCarty added 19 digs and freshman Danae Bina had 16 digs and two aces.
On the weekend, Buzanowski led Butler with 27 kills and seven blocks, while Wartick finished with 24 kills and hit .222. Sewald added 23 kills and four blocks and Stuever had 17 kills with six blocks. Schwartz made 56 digs and had a passing average of 2.5, while Bina had 27 digs, four aces and passed at a 2.4. McCarty matched Bina with 27 digs and passed a 2.35. Kangas led the Grizzlies with 71 assists and added 35 digs, while freshman Baylie Harsh had 40 assists with 17 digs.
Butler heads back to conference play with a home match Tuesday against Barton at 6:30 p.m. The Cougars (3-16 overall, 2-3 Jayhawk West) also went 0-4 at the Wyo-Braska Shootout this weekend and have lost 10 of their last 11 matches.