2009 Butler Volleyball
Friday, Aug. 28 -IPFW Tournament - Fort Wayne, Ind.
Butler (19-11 in 2008) vs. Drake (12-20) - 12:30 p.m. (Live Stats)
Saturday, Aug. 29 - IPFW Tournament - Fort Wayne, Ind.
Butler vs. Eastern Illinois (5-24) - 10:30 a.m. (Live Stats)
Butler vs. Kent State (13-18) - 5 p.m. (Live Stats)
THE FIRST SERVE
Butler opens the 2009 volleyball season August 28-29 at the IPFW tournament in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Bulldogs take on Drake and the host Mastodons on Friday, Aug. 28 before playing Eastern Illinois and Kent State the next day. The Bulldogs returns five starters from last year's 19-11 team. Butler, which finished 8-8 in Horizon League play last year, was picked to finish fourth in this year's Horizon League preseason poll.
BACK AFTER STRONG ‘08: The Bulldogs after one of their finest seasons in recent history in 2008. Butler's .633 winning percentage (19-11) was the program's best since 2004 (.643), while the 19 victories are the most since the 2003 squad totaled 20. The Bulldogs also picked up two regular season tournament championships last year, the most since the 1997 team won three.
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER FAST START: Butler would be just fine with starting 2009 like it did in 2008. BU opened last season 10-1, including a nine-match winning streak from Aug. 30-Sept. 13.
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 The Record Book: Junior Katie Daprile 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 IN THE LEAGUE RANKINGS: Butler found itself ranked among the Horizon League's best in several statistical categories last year. The Bulldogs finished second in the league in three spots, including hitting percentage (.212), opponent hitting percentage (.173) and blocks per set (2.31). Butler also ranked third in kills (12.87) and digs (16.50) per set.
A BLOCKING TREND: The Bulldogs were one of the premier blocking teams in the Horizon League in 2008. Butler finished second in the conference with 2.31 blocks per set and has notched double-figure blocking totals in 15 matches, including a season-high 14 against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Sept. 12.
TWO NEWCOMERS SET AT SETTER: After losing four-year setter Dana Daprile to graduation, the Bulldogs have added freshmen Kelly Hunter and Gina Vera at setter. The two newcomers will compete with sophomore Elyssa Garfinkle for playing time at the position. Vera is a high school All-American out of Joliet, Ill., and Hunter comes to BU after being a three-time all-conference player in Richmond, Ind.
UP NEXT: Butler volleyball travels to Chicago State Thursday, Sept. 3 on the way to a tournament at Marquette Sept. 4-5. The Bulldogs will play Austin Peay and Marquette on Friday, Sept. 4 at that tourney, followed by matches vs. Binghamton and Texas State the next day.