LIBERAL, Kan. – The Butler volleyball team defeated Seward County (25-19, 19-25, 25-22, 16-25, 15-12) in five sets at the OzFest Invitational on Friday, moving the Grizzlies to 2-4 in Jayhawk West conference play.
Butler (8-13 overall) overcame an 8-4 deficit in the final set to win the match over the Saints. The win over Seward was the Grizzlies' only victory, as they dropped matches to Frank Phillips (21-21, 13-25, 19-25, 23-25), Fort Hays State JV (17-25, 19-25, 17-25) and Western Texas (25-13, 22-25, 17-25, 25-19, 11-15).
Against Seward, sophomore Lexie Wartick and freshman Rachael Buzanowski had 13 kills each. Wartick also had six blocks, while Buzanowski added four. Sophomore Mackenzie Stuever had 11 kills and two blocks. Freshman Rebecca Sewald added eight kills and two blocks. Sophomore Mary Kangas led the Grizzlies with 22 assists and also had 14 digs, while freshman Baylie Harsh had 19 assists with two aces. Sophomore libero Jessica Schwartz led Butler with 26 digs.
The Grizzlies fell in four sets to Frank Phillips, as Buzanowski had nine kills and three blocks. Wartick matched Buzanowski with nine kills and added two blocks. Harsh had a double-double with 19 assists and 12 digs, while Kangas added 22 assists. Schwartz led the defense with 18 digs.
On Saturday, Butler was swept in three sets by Fort Hays State JV. Freshman Danae Bina had 12 digs and three aces, while Schwartz had 11 digs in the match.
The Grizzlies finished up the OzFest Invite with a tough five-set loss to Western Texas. Butler won the first set, while Western took the next two sets. The Grizzlies would send the match to a fifth set, where they fell by four points. Freshman Brenna Haines, who has been out with an injury, led Butler with 11 kills and eight blocks. Stuever had 10 kills, while Sewald finished with nine kills. Kangas led the Grizzlies with 24 assists and also had 10 digs, while Harsh had another double-double (16 assists and 10 digs). Schwartz had 19 digs to lead Butler.
Butler hits the road again this week for two conference matches, beginning Wednesday at Garden City for a 6:30 p.m. match. The Grizzlies then turn around on Thursday and play at Dodge City, with the match scheduled for 6:30 p.m.