Result: Butler def. Valparaiso 25-22, 25-22, 25-16
MILWAUKEE - The Butler volleyball team swept Valparaiso Sunday afternoon, claiming the 2010 Horizon League Volleyball Championship. It is the team's first league title since 1997. Butler will learn its NCAA Tournament fate Sunday, Nov. 28.
The Bulldogs, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, out-lasted Valparaiso in two very close sets to take a 2-0 lead. After the break, Butler rolled out to a big lead and the outcome was never in doubt.
"It was a good match. Valparaiso played hard and kept coming at us," head coach Sharon Clark said. "But we were very composed and in-control today. We stayed aggressive from start to finish."
Senior Jessica Wolfe had 13 kills, 15 digs and two blocks to lead the Bulldogs. She was named Horizon League Championship Most Valuable Player. Senior Katie Daprile posted 22 digs, a pace of 7.33 per set. Sophomore setter Gina Vera joined Wolfe and Daprile on the all-tournament team.
"Jessie was phenomenal. She played well in all areas of the game today," Clark said. "Katie Daprile also was unbelievable. Valpo was hitting hard shots and she was digging everything."
The two teams traded points in the first set until BU took command with a 21-17 lead. Valpo answered with four straight points, but the Bulldogs bounced back for three straight to go up 24-21. Butler would take the first two sets each 25-22.
The Bulldogs led 8-4 early in the third set and appeared to have the championship within sight. Valpo pulled to within 9-8. At 16-13, Butler got four straight points to go up 20-13. Valparaiso made five straight attack errors during that key stretch. With match point at 24-16, a Wolfe kill clinched the sweep of the Crusaders and the league title.
Butler (21-9) will play in the NCAA Volleyball Championship in the first weekend of December. The volleyball tournament selection show is Sunday, Nov. 28 at 3 p.m. ET. It is shown on ESPNews.
2010 Horizon League All-Tournament Team
Jessica Wolfe, Butler (MVP)
Katie Daprile, Butler
Gina Vera, Butler
Taylor Root, Valparaiso
Tara Diebler, Valparaiso
Jackie Dabbelt, Cleveland State
Elizabeth Egerer, Milwaukee