Indianapolis, Ind. - Four challenging tournaments and another exciting Horizon League campaign await the Butler volleyball team this fall, as the squad's 2009 schedule was released on Wednesday (June 17). The Bulldogs will work their way through a strenuous 34-match regular season slate beginning with a pair of matches on August 28 and ending in the Horizon League Championship from Nov. 19-23.
The Bulldogs will have to wait for nearly a month before suiting up in front of the home crowd at Hinkle Fieldhouse, as Butler plays its first 17 matches on the road. Fourteen of those first 17 bouts will be a part of four different regular season tournaments.
The season kicks off in Fort Wayne, Ind., when the Bulldogs take on Drake, Eastern Illinois, Kent State and host IPFW in the two-day IPFW Volleyball Invitational from Aug. 28-29.
After a stop at Chicago State on Sept. 3, Butler moves on to Milwaukee for the Marquette Tournament which pits the Bulldogs against Austin Peay, Binghamton, Texas State and the host Golden Eagles from Sept. 4-5.
Butler returns to Indianapolis on Sept. 9 when it battles cross-town foe IUPUI before traveling to the Winthrop Hilton Garden Inn Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. There, the Bulldogs will square off with Appalachian State, Morgan State and Winthrop from Sept. 11-12.
The Horizon League campaign opens up on Sept. 17, as the Bulldogs head to Youngstown State to face the Penguins. Butler then remains in Northeast Ohio for the Kent State Mizuno Open from Sept. 18-19 when it meets the Golden Flashes for a second time before tangling with Utah State and Robert Morris.
Following the exhausting month-long road trip, the Bulldogs open up the home season on Sept. 25 against Cleveland State before hosting Wright State the next afternoon. A stop in Valparaiso on Oct. 2 preludes the squad's only non-league home match of the year when it hosts Alabama A&M the following night.
Reigning Horizon League Regular Season and Tournament Champion Milwaukee comes to town on Oct. 6 followed by Green Bay on Oct. 7.
Butler then spends five of the next six matches on the road, traveling to face UIC (Oct. 10), Loyola (Oct. 11), Wright State (Oct. 23), Cleveland State (Oct. 24) and Indiana State (Oct. 28). An Oct. 17 home bout against Youngstown State will be the only stop at Hinkle.
The Bulldogs open a three-match home stand on Oct. 30 when it welcomes Valparaiso to town before facing Loyola (Nov. 6) and UIC (Nov. 7) to wrap up the home season.
Butler closes the regular slate the following weekend when it heads to Wisconsin to face Green Bay (Nov. 13) and Milwaukee (Nov. 14).
The Horizon League Championship runs from Nov. 19-23 at sites to be determined.
The Bulldogs return the reigning conference newcomer of the year and a pair of all-league players from a 2008 team that finished with 19 wins - the program's most since 2003 - and just one set shy of reaching the league championship match.