The last time Butler defeated Hutchinson in volleyball on Sept. 11, 2002, both head coach Lisa Lechtenberg and assistant coach Tessa Cosby were college students and their entire team were newborns. On Monday night, Butler ended a 16-game losing streak to Hutchinson in strong fashion with a three-set sweep over the Blue Dragons at the Power Plant.
Winners of seven straight contests, Butler (9-5 overall, 4-3 conference) rallied to win the first two sets, then held on in the final set for a 25-21, 25-23, 25-22 victory over Hutchinson (6-9, 3-4).
Coming into the night winning 18 of the last 21 sets, it appeared as if the Grizzlies had run out of steam as Hutch jumped out to a 6-1 lead before forcing Lechtenberg to call a timeout. Consecutive blocks out of the timeout by Keera Parks and Morgan Bryand would tilt some momentum towards the Grizzlies brining the deficit to four at 7-3.
Milayna Hollinger blocked two attacks from the Blue Dragons and Parks put a ball down brining the Hutch lead to only three at 13-10. The Grizzlies continued to stay within striking distance and finally made their move tying the set at 18-18 after an Amalie Rupertova kill, one of her ten on the night. Another kill from Hollinger and a Rupertova block gave Butler the 21-18 lead and it was Grizzly volleyball from there. After trailing by as much as six in the set, the Grizzlies came back to win 25-21.
Set two featured six ties and three lead changes throughout the set. Again, Butler trailed for a majority of the match but made a key 4-0 to tie the set at 20-20 after a viscous Jaryn Benning kill. The game saw three more ties in the set, with the last one at 23-all before the Grizzlies scored the final two points for a 2-0 set lead with a 25-23 win.
Butler and Hutch went back and forth to open set three, with the teams tied 5-5 tie early. Butler then hit the gas pedal by outscoring Hutch 17-6 to take a 10-point 22-12 lead. Hutch made a last-ditch effort as they rattled off eight straight to make the final set more interesting getting within two, 22-20, before Butler finally called a timeout. The Grizzlies scored the next two points out of the timeout. Hutch answered with two of their own, but Rupertova ended the match with a kill to finish off the sweep.
Amalie Rupertova continued her amazing play from the weekend leading the team with 10 kills, 14 digs and two blocks. Morgan Bryand added in nine kills and three blocks while Milayna Hollinger and Jaryn Benning chipped in six apiece. Hollinger had a team leading eight blocks while Sydney Scanlon finished with 25 set assists.
"It was a good one for us," said Lechtenberg. "Last year, we went 0-2 against Hutch so it was a pretty big night for us."
Butler will look to ride the momentum on Wednesday when Barton (9-6, 2-2) comes to town for a 6:30 p.m. match in El Dorado.
NOTES: Since moving up to Division I in 2014, Hutchinson had won 10 straight matches against Butler - including eight three-set sweeps. In 2017, Butler won the second set in both matches against the Dragons before losing the match 3-1.