The Butler volleyball team overcame a big deficit in the fifth set to hold off Garden City on Wednesday at the Power Plant, giving first-year head coach Lisa Lechtenberg a victory in her home debut.
Butler (4-2 overall, 1-0 conference) was behind 6-0 in the fifth set and still trailed 8-2 when the two teams traded sides midway through the set. Butler then propelled itself to a 14-11 lead. Garden City scored two straight to get within a point, but a kill by freshman Sydney Mossman ended the match at 15-13.
The match did not seem headed for fifth-set dramatics early on, as Butler rolled in the first set, winning easily at 25-14. The Grizzlies then took a 2-0 match lead with a 25-22 second-set win.
Butler scored first in each of the third sets, but lost both at 25-21 and 25-22.
Butler was led by freshman outside hitter Amalie Rupertova, who hails from the Czech Republic. Rupertova had 20 kills, 10 digs and six service aces in the match, dominating play at times.
Butler has now won four of its last five matches while opening Jayhawk Conference play with a win. Meanwhile, Garden City remained winless on the season at 0-6 overall and 0-1 in conference.
The Grizzlies will next travel to Great Bend this weekend for the Barton Classic, taking on Clarendon (TX) and Casper (WY) on Friday and Friends JV and Cloud County on Saturday.