The Butler Grizzlies went to Hutchinson over the weekend and split a set of matches in the Blue Dragon Classic, winning two games, including a win over the back-to-back defending national champions Iowa Western. The Grizzlies also knocked off No. 17 Mineral Area College before dropping two games against West Plains and Indian Hills.
The Grizzlies defeated the Reivers in a thriller, winning 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 27-29, 25-20) to avenge a loss against Iowa Western earlier in the year. Kennedy Kelly led the way with 11 kills, and McKenna Rhodes pitched in with 10. Setter Rainey Aven was stellar in the middle, finishing with 40 assists.
The Grizzlies knocked off the 17th ranked Cardinals in the second match on Friday, winning 3-1 (25-12, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18.)
It was the Ivy Fink show in this one, as she matched her season high with 20 kills, also finishing with two service aces and 19 digs. Kelly and Carrie Roe also finished in double digits, finishing with 12 and 11 kills respectively.
The Grizzlies dropped a heartbreaker against 18th ranked Missouri State West Plains, winning the first two sets before dropping the next three, ultimately losing the fifth set and the match, 3-2 (25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 20-25, 12-15.)
Roe, Fink and Kelly finished in double digits in the kill department again, as Roe and Fink led the way with 12 while Kelly was close behind with 10. Roe was also efficient in her service, finishing with four service aces.
The Grizzlies finished the day with a loss to the second ranked team in the country, as Indian Hills defeated Butler in straight sets (27-25, 25-20, 25-16.)
Kelly led the Grizzlies with 10 kills, finishing with double digits for the fourth time in the classic.
The split puts Butler's record at 12-7, and they return to conference action on Wednesday, traveling to Concordia for a visit with Cloud County before returning home for a match with Pratt on Saturday at 2:00pm.