2009 Butler Volleyball
The Butler volleyball team enters the season's final regular-season weekend enjoying one of its finest seasons this decade. The Dogs are a game out of 2nd place and will try to catch Valparaiso and Cleveland State with two matches in Wisconsin, taking on Green Bay Friday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. BU's contest at Milwaukee is set for 5 p.m. on Saturday
Butler (21-11, 10-4 HL), which has won four straight and six of seven, has already swept both Wisconsin teams this season, defeating them Oct. 6-7 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Friday's opponent, Green Bay, is currently 7th in the HL standings and one game out of 6th place. The top six teams advance to the league tournament, which will be hosted by the regular season champion.
Milwaukee is perhaps the league's hottest team, having won six matches in a row, including a 3-1 win last weekend against HL leader Cleveland State.
The Bulldogs defeated Loyola and UIC, respectively, last weekend in the final home weekend of the season. Butler showed perseverance in both victories, holding on for a pair of 3-2 wins. BU finished 2009 with a perfect home record, posting a 9-0 mark at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Junior Jessica Wolfe, the Horizon League's leader in kills and points, is coming off a stellar 28-kill, 35-dig weekend in Butler's victories last season. Senior Porshia Allen had 20 kills and 19 digs against Loyola. BU also had strong defensive totals last weekend, recording 23.5 total team blocks.
DOGS HIT ON 21: Butler is having one of its best seasons in years, winning more than 20 matches for the 1st time since 1997. 2009 is Sharon Clark's best at BU; her 2003 team went 20-12.
...AND GOT ALL 9 AT HOME: The Bulldogs finished a perfect 9-0 at home, including an 8-0 mark against Horizon League opponents. The Dogs won 27 sets in Hinkle this season while losing just nine.
WOLFE THE TOP DOG IN HL: Outside hitter Jessica Wolfe continues to lead the Horizon League in kills per set (3.98) and points per set (4.61). She also ranks 3rd in aces (0.32). If she can maintain her 3.98 kills rate, it would be the xxx best season of hitting in school history. Wolfe was named all-tournament in three of Butler's four tourneys, and was named Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week on September 7.
BUTLER IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: BU is ranked among the national leaders in three categories. The Dogs are 39th in kills (13.73), 46th in digs (16.38) and 50th in assists (12.61).
COACHING MILESTONES FOR CLARK: Butler's 3-0 win over Alabama A&M on Homecoming was career victory No. 250 for Sharon Clark. The Bulldogs' head coach, in her 10th season at Butler, also reached 150 wins for her career at BU against Green Bay. The school record for wins at Butler is 169 by Sharon Dingman (1992-99).
DAPRILE KEEPS DIGGING: Junior Katie Daprile ranks 5th in the Horizon league in digs (4.41) and is 3rd in the HL in conference play (4.85). The Bargersville, Ind., native was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 19 after picking up 27 digs in a 3-0 win over Youngstown State. She has reached 15+ digs 16 times this season.
DIGGING OUT RECORDS: Katie Daprile put together the finest defensive season in Butler volleyball history in 2008. Her 541 digs during the year shattered BU's single-season record of 522, set by Laura Baire in 1993, while her 4.62 digs per game ranks as the 2nd best season rate behind only Megan Knightly (5.29) in 2005.
VERA SETTING IT UP: The setter on the other end of Butler's attack success is freshman Gina Vera. The Joliet, Ill., native ranks 2nd in the Horizon League with 10.69 assists per set, and she has been in the national rankings every week until this week. Vera was named all-tournament at IPFW and Kent State.
ALLEN CLIMBING ATTACKS, KILLS CHARTS: Senior Porshia Allen continues to amass impressive career totals. Allen has 4,126 career attacks, good for 6th on Butler's all-time list. She is also 5th in school history with 1,445 kills, 153 swats behind Kali Carter (2001-04).
UP NEXT: Butler's two matches in Wisconsin conclude the regular season. The Bulldogs will be one of the top four seeds in the Horizon League Volleyball Championship (Nov. 20-22). Five spots have been claimed, with Youngstown State and Green Bay battling for the No. 6 seed.