Butler Opens League Play At Youngstown State

2009 Butler Volleyball - Match #14

Butler (8-5, 0-0) at Youngstown State (2-6, 0-0)

7 p.m. - Beeghly Center - Youngstown, Ohio

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Printable Butler Volleyball Match Notes Open PDF

THE FIRST SERVE: Butler (8-5) begins Horizon League play with a contest at Youngstown State Thursday, Sept. 17 at the Beeghly Center. The Bulldogs are coming off a 2-2 week, picking up 3-set wins over NC Central and Appalachian State. The Bulldogs are led by the Horizon League's leading hitter in junior Jessica Wolfe, and the league's leading setter in freshman Gina Vera. Wolfe has been named all-tournament in all three of Butler's early-season tournaments, including an MVP showing at IPFW's tourney back on August 28-29. Butler defeated the Penguins in five sets last year in both meetings between the schools. In fact, BU has never lost to Youngstown State, winning all 17 matches against YSU. Following Thursday's match-up in Youngstown, the Bulldogs will head to Kent State's Mizuno Open for three matches Sept. 18-19. The Dogs open the tourney with Utah State Friday at 2 p.m.

WOLFE THE TOP DOG IN HL: Outside hitter Jessica Wolfe is leading the Horizon League in overall kills (206) and kills per set (4.79). If she can maintain her 4.79 kills rate, Wolfe would break the school record which was set by Kali Carter in 2004. Additionally, her .273 hitting percentage is 8th in the Horizon League. Wolfe has been named all-tournament in each of Butler's three tourneys thus far, and was named Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week on September 7.

...AND SHE'S UP THERE NATIONALLY, TOO: According to the NCAA's most recent statistics, Wolfe is 7th in the nation in kills per set and 7th in the nation with 5.37 points per set.

VERA SETTING IT UP: The setter on the other end of Wolfe's success is freshman Gina Vera. The Joliet, Ill., native leads the Horizon League and ranks 30th in the country with 10.93 assists per set. Vera was named all-tournament at IPFW, and ran off 61 assists last week at IUPUI.

ALLEN CLIMBING ATTACKS, KILLS CHARTS: Senior Porshia Allen continues to amass impressive career totals. Allen has 3,363 career attacks, 46 shy of 9th on Butler's all-time attacks list. She also enters this weekend's play 34 kills shy of 10th place in school history.

‘08 ALL-LEAGUE RECOGNITION: Butler returns three All-Horizon League players this season. Sophomore Kelsey Labrum was named the league's Newcomer of the Year in 2008 after finishing third on the team with 3.01 points per set.  Senior Porshia Allen and junior Jessica Wolfe were both named to the all-league team after ranking 1-2 on the team in points per set (3.83 and 3.70, respectively).

DIGGING RECORD BOOK: Junior Katie Daprile, Butler's current leader in digs, put together arguably the finest defensive season in Butler volleyball history in 2008. Her 541 digs during the year shattered the school's single-season record of 522, set by Laura Baire in 1993, while her 4.62 digs per game ranks as the second-best single-season rate all-time behind only Megan Knightly's 5.29 per set in 2005. 

BUTLER AMONG HL'S BEST: The Bulldogs are leading the Horizon League in kills (602, 14.00 per set) and assists (552, 12.84 per set). The Dogs are also second as a team in hitting percentage at .247, just slightly behind Cleveland State. Defensively, Butler ranks second in the league with 16.19 digs per set, just slightly behind Wright State.

AWAI DIGGING LIBERO SPOT: After sitting out 2008 with an injury, junior Brittany Awai is leading BU with 3.76 digs per set. Her total ranks 7th in the Horizon League, while Katie Daprile ranks 8th in the HL (3.72).

UP NEXT: Following Thursday night's match at YSU, the Bulldogs take on Utah State, Robert Morris and Kent State at Kent State's Mizuno Open. Butler hosts Cleveland State in its home opener on Friday, Sept. 25 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.