Butler took early leads and held on in all three sets to sweep the Youngstown State volleyball team on Friday afternoon in the first match of the Butler Invitational at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The set scores were 25-17, 25-21, 25-21.
YSU freshman Sarah Varcolla led all players with 14 kills, which represented half of the Penguins' team total, while posting a .407 attack percentage. She had five of YSU's seven kills in the first set and six of its nine in the third.
Butler hit a modest .200 as a team, including .150 over the final two sets, but the Bulldogs had nine blocks and seven aces to help. Mary Striedl posted eight of her team-high 13 blocks in the first set.
The biggest key to the match was Butler starting fast in every set and forcing YSU to play from behind. The Bulldogs scored eight of the first nine points of the match and held at least a six-point edge the rest of the first set.
Butler then scored five of the first six points in the second set, but Youngstown State rebounded this time by going on a 6-1 run to take a 7-6 lead. YSU also led briefly at 12-11, and the score was tied for the eighth time in the set at 13-13. That's when the Bulldogs scored the next five points to go up 18-13. A block by Lori Vanbeek cut the deficit to 22-21, but the Bulldogs scored the final three points to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Butler's early lead was 7-2 in the third set, but YSU battled back again and got within one three different times. A Varcolla kill made the score 21-20, and an attack error by BU's Tyler Taylor got the Penguins within 22-21. Striedl's final kill of the afternoon gave the Bulldogs a sideout, and they scored the final two points to finish the match.
Youngstown State will play two more matches in Indianapolis on Saturday. The Penguins will play Southern Illinois at 11 a.m. and undefeated Missouri at 2 p.m.