The Butler Grizzlies bounced back from their first conference loss of the season, returning to Jayhawk play with a trip to Concordia and sweeping Cloud County, defeating the Thunderbirds in straight sets (26-24, 25-15, 25-18) on Wednesday.
The Grizzlies managed to hold on in the tense first set, and cruised to the sweep of the rest of the way. Butler used a 5-0 run halfway through the second set to take control and put themselves on the brink of the victory, and in the third set led the entire way to preserve the sweep, including a 6-0 run that put the Grizzlies in cruise control.
The Grizzlies snap a two match losing streak and improve their overall record to 13-7 on the year and 7-1 in conference play. The Grizzlies have now swept Cloud twice this year as the Grizzlies took the match in straight sets when the two teams faced off at the Power Plant back in August, and Butler has now won the last five matches against the Thunderbirds dating back to 2018.
It was a great night for the Grizzlies on the attacking side of the net, finishing with 64 points and 48 kills. Butler's hitting percentage finished at 40%, which is second highest for the Grizzlies this season. In addition, the Grizzlies put in 12 service aces, the ninth time the Grizzlies have finished with double digits in the ace department.
It was the Kennedy Kelly show once again for Butler, as she led the team with 11 kills, her fifth straight game with double digit kills. Kelly, who leads the nation in hitting percentage, was efficient in attack again, finishing with a percentage of .526. She was also very good in service, contributing three of the Grizzlies' 12 aces. M'kenzee Nkansah and Ivy Fink were next in line offensively, as they both finished with nine kills. Sydney Morrow matched Kelly's performance in service with three aces of her own. Defensively, Morrow and Rainey Aven led the team in digs, as the duo combined for nine each.
Next up for the Grizzlies is a return to friendly confines as they play their first home match in nearly a month, returning home to the Power Plant on Saturday afternoon for a match against the Pratt Beavers.