LAMAR, Colo. – The Butler volleyball team opened up the 2014 season going 3-1 at the Lamar Classic this weekend. In Friday's first match, Butler defeated Trinidad State (Colo.) in four sets, then dropped a five-set match to Laramie County (Wyo.). The Grizzlies won both matches on Saturday as they beat Otero (Colo.) in four sets, then swept Clarendon (Texas) in three straight sets.
Against Trinidad, Butler won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-23 before falling 22-25 in the third set. The Grizzlies recovered with a 25-18 win in the fourth set to take the match. Freshman setter Baylie Harsh had 17 assists, while sophomore Mary Kangas led the team with 27 assists and added 13 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Mackenzie Stuever had 10 kills, 12 digs, and four blocks. Freshman Courtney Walker added nine kills and sophomore Bailey Santo had 8 kills. Sophomore Jessica Schwartz had 14 digs, while freshman Danae Bina had 12.
In the five-set loss to Laramie, Butler won the opening set 25-21, but lost the second set by the same score. The Grizzlies held a 2-to-1 set advantage, but Laramie would win the final two sets to hand Butler its first loss on the season. Kangas had 35 assists and 17 digs to lead the Grizzlies in the match, while Stuever and freshman Brenna Haines had 11 kills each.
On Saturday against Otero, the Grizzlies dominated the opening two sets (25-13, 25-14). Otero edged out the Grizzlies in the third set 25-22, but Butler held on for the win with a 25-21 victory in the fourth set. Sophomore Lexi Wartick led the attack with nine kills, hitting .471 and three blocks, while Stuever had eight kills, nine digs and four blocks. Harsh had 20 assists and Schwartz led Butler with 26 digs in the match.
In the final match of the classic, Butler battled Clarendon in the first two sets, winning 25-20 and 25-23 before cruising to a 25-11 win in the third set for the sweep. Stuever had 12 kills, hitting .391 and had one ace, 10 digs, and one block. Freshman Rachael Buzanowski added seven kills, hitting .636 and one block. Kangas led the Grizzlies with 17 assists and 11 digs, while Harsh had 10 assists, four aces, and seven digs.
Overall on the weekend, Stuever had the hot hand with 41 kills, nine blocks and 41 digs. Wartick had 28 kills, hitting .335 with eight blocks. Walker had 24 kills, four blocks and 11 digs, while Buzanowski also had 24 kills with four blocks. Freshman Rebecca Sewald added 23 kills and 6 blocks.
Santo had 19 total kills, hitting .317 with three blocks. Haines also had 16 kills and four blocks. Kangas led the Grizzlies with 94 assists and added 49 digs. Harsh had five aces, 57 assists and 28 digs. Schwartz finished with a team-high 71 digs and passed at a 2.67 clip. Bina added three aces and 38 digs and she passed at a 2.52.
Butler will travel to Seminole, Okla., this weekend for four matches beginning with Trinity Valley (Texas) on Friday at 9 a.m. The Grizzlies will also face Clarendon (Texas), Pratt and host Seminole State.