The Grizzlies seven game win streak came to an end Wednesday night as they fell to a resilient Barton team who went the distance to get the win in five sets.
Butler struck first in set one scoring three consecutive points taking a 3-0 lead. The Cougars mounted their comeback immediately out scoring Butler 12-5 giving Barton the lead, 12-8, before head coach Lisa Lechtenberg was forced to utilize a timeout to calm the Grizzlies.
Unforced errors and net violations plagued the Grizzlies as they were called in the net five different times throughout the first set. Barton kept the Grizzlies out of striking distance maintaining a comfortable lead and going onto win 25-16 locking up set one.
Set two was action packed as the set saw six ties and five lead changes as Butler responded after the loss winning set two 25-23. Butler pieced together a 6-point run halfway through the set with the help of two serving aces by Keera Parks giving Butler a 16-11 lead, a lead they wouldn't give up throughout the remainder of the set and tied it up 1-1.
The Grizzlies took a 2-1 set lead after winning the third set leading most of the match. After a 4-0 start, the Grizzlies appeared to have full control of the set holding the lead and making very few mistakes. The Cougars got within one point 12 different times throughout the set until finally tying it up at 22 all late. They would trade the next two points tying it up again at 23-23 before the Grizzlies finished it off winning 25-23.
Eight times the game was tied in set number four. After a 7-7 tie early, Barton gained control and led up until a Benning killed tied it up again at 21 apiece. The Grizzlies couldn't get over the hump as a side out by the Cougars gave them back the lead. A net violation on Barton, the tenth total net violation called in the match, would tie it back up at 22-22 but the Grizzlies ran out of gas late as Barton put down the next three balls to even the match 2-2 with a 25-22 win.
After Butler had scored the opening point in the previous four sets, Barton took control scoring the first point in the fifth. Morgan Bryand answered with a kill to tie it up 1-1. Both teams would trade points the next four keeping the set tied 4-4. An ace from Milayna Hollinger gave the Grizzlies their only lead in the set at 4-3 but Barton responded rattling off three straight regaining the lead 6-4. After a controversial no call where Barton appeared to be in the net, the Cougars scored the point taking a 9-7 lead and stole all the moment. They outscored Butler 6-3 to take the set 15-10 and win the match 3-2.
Amalie Rupertova recorded 15 kills in the match with eight digs and two blocks. Jaryn Benning finished with a double-double with 12 kills and 16 digs. She also tallied four blocks in the match. Milayna Hollinger added in nine kills and seven blocks while Morgan Bryand had eight kills and four blocks. Keera Parks was deadly from the serving line serving up three aces while blocking four balls. Sydney Scanlon also posted a double-double with 43 assists and ten digs.
Butler (9-6, 4-4) will travel to Liberal on Saturday to start the second round of KJCCC play taking on Seward (13-2, 7-0) at 6:30pm. Butler will look to avenge an early season loss as Seward defeated the Grizzlies in the conference opener in late August 3-0.
NOTES: It was just the second time this season the Grizzlies have gone to five sets and first five set match played at home this year. This is the second straight year that Pratt has defeated the Grizzlies in a five set match in El Dorado.