Butler volleyball enters NJCAA national rankings for first time since 2013

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
The Butler Grizzlies volleyball team swept Hutch on Monday, Sept. 3 to continue their 5-game winning streak

As well as the Butler Grizzlies' volleyball team has been playing this season, it was only a matter of time before they did it.

On Tuesday, Butler entered the NJCAA Top 20 rankings for the first time since season at No. 19 after receiving votes last week. 

It's the first time volleyball has entered the national rankings since they moved to Division I in 2014. Prior to that, the program competed in the Division II NJCAA side, where they were No. 17 in the last poll we could find in the 2012-13 season.

The Grizzlies have been on run as of late, winning five straight matches, including sweeping Colby (3-0) and Hutchinson (3-0), two of the top volleyball programs in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. 

They've also taken down nationally ranked teams, as they swept then 11th-ranked Northeaster (Colo.) and took a five-set win over then 8th-ranked Western Nebraska. 

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It's all about turning the corner and continuing to build on that legacy coach Lisa Lechtenberg has put into place heading in fourth year at he helm of the program.

All eyes will now turn toward the Butler Tournament this weekend at the Power Plant. It will host teams from Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Division II's 18th-ranked Neosho County and Division I's 16th-ranked Trinity Valley (TX) highlight the field. 

Butler will play Neosho at 1 p.m. and Rose State College (OK) at 5 p.m. on Friday. They'll wrap with Trinity Valley at 11 a.m. and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M at 5 p.m. on Saturday. 

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.