Butler VB splits four matches to open season at Johnson

Butler VB splits four matches to open season at Johnson

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Butler volleyball team split a pair of matches against nationally-ranked teams at the Johnson County Invitational on Friday to open the 2013 season, then split two more matches on Saturday to go 2-2 on the weekend.

The Grizzlies started the year by sweeping 20th-ranked Longview (Mo.) in straight sets. Butler won 25-12, 25-13 and 25-22 over the Lakers. 

Payton white had 8 kills, and 2 blocks. Kailee Dudley and Jessie Green had 7 kills each. Kailan Kuzmic had 15 assists and 8 digs. Mary Kangas had 11 assists and 5 digs.

In the second match, Butler lost a heartbreaker in five sets to No. 5 Central Nebraska. The Grizzlies won the first set 25-22, lost the second 25-13 and won the third 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Central Nebraska answered, however, to win an intense fourth set by a 25-22 score and then squeezed out the win with a 15-12 victory in the fifth set.

Jesse Green had 14 kills, an ace, nine digs and three blocks. Kailan Kuzmic added 14 kills, 11 assists, 15 digs and two blocks. Mary Kangas had 31 assists, a pair of aces and 13 digs. Payton White had eight kills and four blocks. Mackenzie Stuever and Kailee Dudley had six blocks each.

On Saturday, Butler lost in straight sets to No. 1 Cowley County (25-19, 25-12, 25-23) before bouncing back to sweep three sets from East Central (Mo.) by scores of 25-15, 25-14, 24-14).

Against Cowley, the first and third sets were tightly contested. In each set, Butler had leads before faltering late. The second set was controlled by Cowley, with errors hurting the Grizzlies' attack.

Jessi Green and Kailee Dudley both had six kills and one block apiece. Mary Kangas had 14 assists with 11 digs.

In the final match of the day and the tournament, the Grizzlies routed East Central. Butler had balanced scoring and was able to get all players in the match. Lexie Wartick had six kills and three blocks, Payton White had six kills and a block, while Mckenzie Johnson had five kills an ace, and 13 digs. Briana Pugh had five kills hitting .312 with a block. Kailan Kuzmic had 20 assists and six digs and Jessica Schwartz had 21 digs. 

Butler will put its 2-2 record on the line Wednesday night with its first home match of the season when the Grizzlies take on Allen County at 6:30 p.m. in the Power Plant. That will also be the first conference match of the season.