Grizzlies advance to first ever Region VI Championship game with 3-0 win over Colby

Grizzlies advance to first ever Region VI Championship game with 3-0 win over Colby

The Butler Grizzlies defeated the Colby Trojans in straight sets (25-18, 25-13, 25-23) in the semifinals of the Region VI tournament on Friday. With the win, the Grizzlies advance to the championship game at the Power Plant at 1 pm on Saturday, their first Region VI Championship appearance in program history.

With the victory, the Grizzlies, ranked third in the nation, improved to 34-2 on the year. They remain unbeaten against conference teams this season and unbeaten at the Power Plant, and they improve their win streak to 30 straight games on the year.

Butler cruised through the first set, jumping out to a 9-4 lead and forcing Colby into the timeout. They'd extend the lead to 18-9 and would survive a mini Colby rally that got the Trojans to within four, but won the set 25-18. Jaryn Benning led the Grizzlies in the first set with two aces and two kills.

Butler was dominant in the second set, jumping out to a 7-1 lead and forcing a Colby timeout at 12-4 on the scoreboard. They would not relinquish the lead, winning the set 25-13. Vanja Przulj led the Grizzlies with four kills in the second set.

Colby made things hard on the Grizzlies in the third set with the Trojans season on the line. The Trojans forced a Butler timeout when they jumped out to an 8-4 lead, but after the timeout the Grizzlies regained the lead and did not give it up, winning the set 25-23 and moving on to Saturday's championship match.

It was a balanced win for the Grizzlies as three players had five kills or more. Przulj and Ivy Fink led the team with eight, and Jaryn Benning contributed six, as well as three aces.

"We don't have one player that has to put 20 balls away. We have four or five players that can put 10 balls away," head coach Lisa Lechtenberg said. "They're able to spread the floor and get balanced distribution and they're figuring out that works pretty well."

With the win, Butler will play the winner of the second semifinal match between Barton and Seward, two teams that the Grizzlies have swept this season.

"I told the girls we have 10 minutes to talk to family and friends," Lechtenberg said, "and then we're scouting the next match. We'll see what Barton and Seward do and we'll put a game plan together."