CONCORDIA, Kan. — Butler volleyball opened the 2018 regular season Wednesday with a four-set road loss at Cloud County (25-21, 18-25, 15-25, 14-25) at Arlen Bryant Gymnasium.
Errors doomed the Grizzlies (0-1 overall), who failed to win in head coach Lisa Lechtenberg's debut. Butler struggled with 27 hitting errors and 13 serving errors in the loss.
The Grizzlies had a promising start to begin the match by winning the first set, including an 8-1 lead to open the set. Butler maintained a 14-7 lead before Cloud crept back into the set with six straight points. The T-Birds tied the set on three different occasions, but Butler scored five of the last six points for the opening set win.
Cloud and Butler went back and forth to the midway point of the second set, which featured 11 ties. Butler led 13-12 before the T-Birds broke the set open with an 8-1 run enroute to a 25-18 second-set victory.
In the third set, Butler jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead behind kills from Nia Bishop and Sydney Scanlon. Cloud responded with a 6-0 run, but the Grizzlies would not go away quietly by forcing four ties before taking a 10-9 lead on consecutive kills by Alli Klausmeyer. Cloud then took momentum of the match with a 15-4 run which led to a 10-point third-set win.
Butler never led in the fourth set despite keeping the score close early on. The Grizzlies rallied from a 9-5 deficit to pull with one, 10-9, but Cloud ended the match with a dominant 15-5 run for the victory.
Nia Bishop led the Grizzlies with 16 kills and two blocks along with six digs, while Amalie Rupertova added 11 kills and a block. Sydney Scanlon had 27 of Butler's 28 assists and Beth Schulte finished with a team-high nine digs.
Butler will next be in action at the two-day Quizno's Classic Invitational in Lamar, Colo., which begins Friday. The Grizzlies will face Frank Phillips, Texas at 2:00 p.m., then battle Cisco, Texas at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday, Butler will play Otero, Colo., at 11:00 a.m., then finish the classic against host Lamar at 3:00 p.m.
Butler's first home game will be Wednesday, Aug. 29 against Garden City, which will be the Grizzlies' conference opener. The match gets underway at the Power Plant at 6:30 p.m.