BUTLER BATTLES BACK TO BEAT HAWKS, 3-2
Sept. 12, 2008
Buffalo, N.Y. - Things seemed to be going the Hawks' way. They were up, 2-1, heading into the fourth set, but the Bulldogs of Butler University (8-1) rallied back and took sets four and five and handed the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) the loss, 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 10-15). The defeat makes UMES 3-4 overall and looking to get over .500 for the first time this season with two more matches to play at the Ramada Invitational.
Whitney Johnson (Prince Frederick, Md./Univ. at Albany) was again in her conference player of the year form, tallying 20 kills on 43 swings with nine errors for a hitting percentage of .256. Freshmen sensation Christine Edwards (Lakewood, Calif./St. Joseph H.S.) was also strong with 15 kills and two aces. Her errors turned out to hurt the Hawks however as she had 11 attack miscues, three service errors and a reception error.
All-MEAC selection Caylin Woodward (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica H.S.) started slow, but rebounded for 11 kills on 33 attacks, hitting .212. Fellow conference player Christina Estebane' (El Paso, Texas/Midland College) tossed up 49 assists and led the defense with 18 digs.
"Once we start believing that we are one of the better teams in our region as well as play the ball more consistently, we can beat some of these teams from outside conferences," said Head Coach Don Metil.
UMES got off to a great start, taking the first match 25-22. They opened a 15-8 lead on a Woodward kill, their largest of the set. Butler tied the game at 20 when the Bulldog's Stephanie Steele served up an ace. That capped an eight point run that was ended by Samantha Chukwura (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bayside H.S.) when she pounded down an Estebane' assist. The Hawks went on a 5-2 run to close out the set.
Butler rebounded to take the second set, 25-20, closing out on a 10-2 run. It was fueled by Kelsey Labrum who had three kills and a pair of block assists in that stretch.
The Hawks rebounded in the third set, one that went back and forth and saw four ties in the first 11 points. For there the Hawks ran off with a 9-3 spurt that saw Johnson tally four kills. Butler came storming back and went from down 20-14 to tying it at 21 all. Labrum again did the damage for the Bulldogs, tallying three kills in the run. Ironically, it was her error that would give the Hawks the lead for good as Woodward and Thonya Joseph (Bridgetown, Barbados/Clarendon College) would stuff her attack to make it 22-21 UMES. Woodward added another kill and a block and Edwards the final kill that gave UMES to the 25-23 win.
While the third set win motivated the Hawks, Butler seemed to just get angry. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back. After hitting a miserable .167 in the previous set, Butler hit .360 in the fourth frame and dominated en route to a 25-17 win. Porshia Allen was solid in the set, tallying three kills and a pair of aces. The Bulldogs led by eight at the final tally, marking an 8-3 run.
UMES had been in this situation before. Against Coastal Carolina they were also up 2-1 but gave up the fourth and fifth sets. It was déjà vu again as Butler jumped out to a 7-3 lead on the play of Jessica Wolf. The Lady Hawks then posted three straight kills from Woodward, Estebane' and Edwards that closed it to 7-6. Allen made it 6-8 in favor of Butler until Chukwaura made it a one point affair again. Edwards' service error gave them a 9-7 lead and the momentum. Butler rattled off six more points while UMES managed just one on a Samantha Pimental (Corvallis, Ore./Corvallis H.S.) ace, her third of the match but was an end to the Hawk scoring, giving Butler the 15-10 win and a 3-2 match win.
UMES plays again at 7:00 p.m. tonight against the host Buffalo Bulls and again tomorrow against Maine at 1:00 p.m.