Story by Wyatt Ebersole:
Butler Volleyball traveled to Liberal, Kansas on Friday to take on the 15th ranked Seward County Saints in what was expected to be a hotly contested matchup. Butler and Seward entered the game tied for first place in the Jayhawk Conference and the winner would be in control of their own destiny for a regular season conference title the rest of the season with a win.
Butler managed to snag the first set from #15 Seward 25-21, behind a triple of mid-set service aces, one from Kennedy Kelly and the other pair from McKenna Rhodes. These aces gave the Grizzlies an 18-13 lead in set one that they wouldn't relinquish giving the Grizzlies the early edge in the match.
Seward would respond with a convincing 25-15 set two victory bringing the match to a 1-1 tie and setting up a third set that would be pivotal to the match's outcome. The Grizzlies came out flat and got into an early 6-1 deficit in set three that ballooned into a 16-5 Saints lead. The Grizzlies fell in the set 25-8. This is the first time the Grizzlies have been held to a single digit set total since the Spring 2021 season when Missouri State-West Plains beat the Grizzlies 25-9.
Now trailing Seward 2-1 in the match, Butler needed to win set four to force a decisive fifth set. The Grizzlies made it close but couldn't overcome the slight lead Seward held throughout the entire set and the Grizzlies fell 25-21 in set four and in the match 3-1.
Butler will spend the night out in Western Kansas and then will turn around and face the Garden City Broncbusters at 6PM in Garden City.
NOTES: Head coach Lisa Lechtenberg is now 3-7 against Seward County…Butler Volleyball is now 2-8 in games at Seward County since 2012…Butler falls into second place in the KJCCC Volleyball standings…Butler has won 27 of its last 30 conference matches spanning back to the Spring 2021 season…Butler Volleyball is now 17-5 in matches this season where they win the first set…1-3 is the worst margin of defeat by a conference opponent since March 1st, 2021 when the Grizzlies lost 1-3 at Barton