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Broncbusters fight back but fall short at Butler

Broncbusters fight back but fall short at Butler

El Dorado, KS-Over the course of the season, the Broncbusters have shown they can come back from any deficit. On Monday night, they did it again. The problem was, they could not get to the finish line.

Aliyah Bernard recorded a team-best 13 blocks, Jordyn Allen added nine kills, and Butler took down Garden City in three sets 21-25, 23-25, 26-28 at the Power Plant.

"We've shown we can play with anyone," Head Coach Jacquelynne Matula said. "But we get to 20 points, and they let the other team back in."

Such was the case in their third conference showdown of the season.

The Grizzlies raced out to a 7-0 lead in the opening set before the Broncbusters finally got going. Eventually, the brown and gold came back to take a 13-12 advantage. But Butler (7-4, 2-1) responded with four straight points to regain command. And although Garden City kept it close, the Grizzlies stayed in front, and Bernard's spike closed out the opening frame.

"We have to learn how to take the match to them the entire way," Matula said. "That's what we struggle with right now."

In the second frame, Garden City built their lead to as many as five points. But clinging to a 21-19 edge, the Grizzlies stormed back, thanks to Bernard, who tallied three straight points, two kills and a block to push Butler over the top.

"We had every chance to get back into the match," Matula said. "I want to see us fight better. That's what will make us more competitive."

In the third, Butler needed four match points to complete the sweep, but freshman Claudia Hess terminated a kill in overtime for a two-point victory.

"I want us to go into the rest of these conference matches dictating the play to our opponents," Matula said. "If we do that, I'm very confident that the results will change."

Abigail Skeeler paced the Broncbusters with eight kills; Shaney Tiumalu added seven, and Bailey Martinez recorded 22 digs

Garden City is back in action on Thursday at Laramie. Match time is set for 7 p.m.