The Butler volleyball team wrapped up regular season play Friday night in winning fashion defeating the Div. II No. 6 ranked Cowley Tigers in three straight sets, 25-21, 25-16, 25-22.
Butler played a very sound match committing only nine total errors in the three-set victory. The two Grizzlies freshman middles made up of Keera Parks and Milayna Hollinger wreaked havoc on the Tigers front row as they combined for eight total blocks in the match not allowing the Tigers offense to put balls down cleanly.
Cowley led early in the first set, but the Grizzlies hung around and took the lead at 17-16. They would then have the momentum from that point on to finish the set 25-21
Again, Cowley led in set number two taking a 5-0 lead to start the set. The Grizzlies would not get discouraged or back away as they began to chip away at the deficit. A Jaryn Benning serve followed by a Tiger error would give Butler their first lead of the set at 8-7 and the Grizzlies would never give it up. They cruised to a 25-16 set two win.
For the third consecutive set, Butler found themselves behind early to the Tigers. This was a position the Grizzlies were familiar with and did not get discouraged. Butler tied the game at 14-14 before taking the lead on the ensuing serve which was a Morgan Bryand serving ace. Cowley wasn't out of the fight as they scored five straight to even the set at 22-22 giving them one last hope to extend the match. A kill from Amalie Rupertova, a net violation on the Tigers and a highlight backrow kill from Jaryn Benning would cap off the set with Butler winning 25-22 and taking the match 3-0.
Amalie Rupertova led Butler offensively in kills with 10 while recording nine digs three serving aces and two blocks. Jaryn Benning had six kills and three blocks while Morgan Bryand followed with five kills and seven digs. Montana Soderberg finished with nine digs while setter Sydney Scanlon had 25 set assists and two blocks.
The Grizzlies, now 18-11, 8-8, will focus their attention on the postseason as they prepare to take on the Blue Dragons of Hutchinson (13-18, 9-7) in the first round of the Region VI Div. I Volleyball tournament. This will be the third meeting of the two teams and the rubber match as both teams swept each other on their home court during the regular season. The Grizzlies defeated Hutchinson for the first time since 2002 earlier this year at home 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-22) but fell a month later 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 29-27).