It was a sweet sophomore night for Butler volleyball as they defeated non-conference opponent Neosho County 3-1 (25-18, 25-18, 24-26, 25-10) Monday night from the Power Plant.
Neosho, KJCCC Division II (16-18, 2-7), showed up to play in set one. They scored the first point of the game and kept that lead up until the Grizzlies tied it at 13-13. A big kill from Jaryn Benning would force a Panther timeout with the Grizzlies leading 15-14. An ace from Benning and a Rupertova kill would force another Neosho timout later in the set with the Grizzlies lead at three, 20-17. Amalie Rupertova recorded three straight kills extending the Butler lead to six at 23-17. Morgan Bryand would finish set one in style with a cross court kill to win it 25-18.
Set two saw eight ties and seven lead changes in the first part of the set before the Grizzlies took charge and went on to win 25-18. Neosho battled early, holding a one-point lead multiple times in the early part of the set, but the Butler middles in Milayna Hollinger and Keera Parks were too much for the Panther offense. Milayna Hollinger recorded seven blocks in the match, three of which came in set two while Keera Parks put away three balls later in the set to help seal the set two victory.
The Grizzlies were looking for three set sweep but the Panthers had other plans. It was a balanced set for both teams on both sides of the ball as the largest lead for either team was only three. Neither team could put a string of points together to widen the gap which forced the set into extra points. After scoring back to back points, Butler tied the set at 24-24 but Neosho would score the next two to extend the match to at least one more set.
The loss didn't sit well with the Grizzlies as they came out with a different attitude and mindset in the fourth set. That was to dominate the match and dominate they did. Butler took a quick 7-1 lead and never looked back. Neosho's highlight of the set was scoring four straight to cut into the Butler lead 16-10, but Amalie Rupertova was ready to put together a highlight of her own. She served four aces and served the final nine points as the Grizzlies cruised to a 25-10 set win and 3-1 match victory.
Rupertova posted a doubl-double with 14 kills and 23 digs. She added in a season high seven aces and blocked two balls in the match. Jaryn Benning finished with 12 kills hitting .367% while Morgan Bryand recorded 11 with two serving aces. Milayna Hollinger dominated the net with seven blocks in the match while adding six kills while teammate Keera Parks finished with five kills and three blocks and three serving aces. Sydney Scanlon quarterbacked the match with 47 set assists while recording four blocks. Butler finished with a season high 15 serving aces in the match.
Butler will wrap up their regular season with a home match versus Cowley on Friday, November 1 at 6:30pm at the Power Plant. They will open up Region VI tournament play next Tuesday, November 5th on the road at Hutchinson in a 6:30pm contest.