The Butler volleyball team had momentum at times against the nation's top-ranked team, but could not topple undefeated Cowley in a three-set match in the Power Plant on Wednesday.
The No. 1 Tigers defeated No. 15 Butler by scores of 25-20, 25-18, 25-19 in front of a large and loud crowd on the Butler campus.
The Grizzlies had leads in both the first and third matches, but were not able to hold on in either set. In the first set, Cowley roared to a 6-1 lead before Butler chipped away at the deficit. Eventually, Butler would take a series of one-point leads, the latest at 20-19 before Cowley scored the final six points of the set.
Cowley again raced to a big lead early in the second set and controlled the set throughout.
Butler led 4-2 early on in the second half and was still up 7-6 before Cowley scored eight straight points. Butler would get back within two points before the Tigers once again pulled away down the stretch.
Sophomore Jessi Green led Butler with eight kills, while Lexi Wartick, Kailan Kuzmic and Payton White had five kills apiece. Kuzmic led the team with 14 assists and had 13 digs, second only to Jessica Schwartz's 18. Mackenzie Stuever had a team-high three blocks.
Butler falls to 11-5 on the season, with all five losses coming to teams in the top six nationally – two to top-ranked Cowley, one to No. 4 Johnson County and two to No. 6 Central Nebraska. Cowley remains undefeated at 15-0.