Pirates Fall to Butler in Crucial MatchDate: November 18, 2017
(Photo: SHU Athletics)
By: Dalton Allison
Despite a double-double performance from senior Dominique Mason, the Pirates fell to the Butler Bulldogs in four sets (25-21, 25-14, 25-22, 25-14).
Early in the first set, it was a back and forth contest, with the score opening up to a 9-8 advantage for the Hall highlighted by a strong kill by Abby Thelen. After Butler tied it at 10 however, things went downhill for the Pirates.
Butler took advantage of a lack of communication by the Pirates, and opened up an 18-15 lead over the home team. The Pirates quickly called a timeout, and stormed back out to tie the game. Butler then called a timeout of their own, and held the momentum for the rest of the set.
Benefiting from the timeout, Butler took a 21-19 lead, and never looked back. The Bulldogs won the first set 25-21.
The second set was a flat out dominant one by the Bulldogs, as they opened the set on a 9-3 run. Mason, who recorded 12 kills and 16 digs on the night, was the only thing that worked for the Pirates in the second set. Butler took a 2-0 match advantage as they won the set 25-14.
The third set was the best one played by the Pirates, as they kept at the playing level of Butler for the entirety of the set. Neck and neck play led to Sharay Barnes tying the set at 5. Butler libero Taylor Takeda made a fantastic diving dig to keep the set close. The junior finished with nine digs for the Bulldogs.
An empathic kill by Caitlyn Koska propelled the Pirates to take a 9-7 lead, as they went on to extend their advantage to 19-14. Seton Hall would eventually take the set 25-22, as Butler put up a fight to end the set.
For the Pirates, the fourth set was unfortunately like the first. The Pirates came out lackluster in the set, and it ended up harming them. Head Coach Allison Yaeger blamed it on dropping the first two sets.
"We didn't come out very strong," Coach Yaeger said. "We came out in the third set when our backs were against the wall, and that hasn't worked for us this year."
Much like the first set, the Pirates would eventually fall to an insurmountable disadvantage. Frustrations boiled over for several Pirates, and Mason was handed a yellow card for voicing her displeasure with the official, while the Pirates were down 12-5.
An ace opened up a 20-11 advantage for the Bulldogs, and at that point the Pirates felt defeat upon them. They eventually dropped the fourth set 25-14, and the match 3-1.
Mason wasn't the only Pirate to record a double-double, as junior Sophia Coffey dropped 16 assists, and 11 digs.
The Pirates and their pursuit to make it to the Big East tournament return to Walsh Gym tonight, as they face off against the Xavier Musketeers to end the regular season at 7 pm. Catch the action on wsou.net.
Dalton Allison can be reached at email@example.com.