2010 Butler Volleyball
A big weekend of league play looms for the Butler volleyball team. In the season’s second-to-last set, BU welcomes Green Bay and Milwaukee to Hinkle Fieldhouse - potentially with first place in the league standings on the line.
Milwaukee enters the weekend 12-1 in Horizon League play, and Butler is 11-1. The Bulldogs do have the advantage of playing their remaining matches at home. If Butler can find a way to claim four home victories over the next two weekends, the Dawgs will win the regular season title and host the 2010 Horizon League Volleyball Championship.
The key to Butler’s hot season was its Oct. 9-10 trip to Wisconsin. Driving straight from Youngstown State to Milwaukee, the Bulldogs persevered and hung on for a pair of 3-2 road victories. Since then, BU has kept winning and extended its winning streak to eight matches.
Senior Jessica Wolfe and junior Maureen Bamiro have led Butler’s climb to the top of the league standings. Wolfe continues to lead the Horizon League in points and kills and Bamiro is ranked in hitting, kills, points and blocks. As a team, BU is second in the league in blocks and hitting percentage. Butler is in the top 4 in every category of the league’s team stats.
Butler (17-7) will play the remainder of the regular season at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Youngstown State and Cleveland State come to Butler Nov. 12-13.
LEAGUE LEADER: Butler is now 11-1 in league play and even in the league loss column with Milwaukee. With four conference matches left, Butler will have the advantage of playing all of them at home. It is the first time Butler has started 11-1 in league play under 11-year head coach Sharon Clark. The last BU team to go 11-1 in league play was the 1997 squad, a team that went 28-7 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
WOLFE THE TOP DOG IN HL: Outside hitter Jessica Wolfe, leads the league in kills per set (4.03) and points per set (4.54). Last year, she led the league in both categories en route to first team All-Horizon League honors. Her current kills rate of 4.03 would rank as the eighth best season of hitting in school history. The Plainfield, Ind., native has 15 outings with at least 14 kills this season along with 11 double-doubles.
ALL-TIME WINS LEADER: With Butler’s 3-1 victory over Loyola, Sharon Clark became Butler’s all-time leader in volleyball coaching wins. In her 11th season at BU, Clark owns 173 wins, surpassing former coach Sharon Dingman’s mark of 169. Clark will be honored for the achievement Saturday, Nov. 6 against Milwaukee.
WOLFE REGIONALLY AND NATIONALLY: Not only is Jessica Wolfe prominent among the Horizon League leaders, the 6-2 outside hitter also garnered national attention last year. Wolfe was named AVCA All-Midwest Region and then captured honorable mention AVCA All-America honors. Wolfe is currently 35th in the country in kills per set and 39th in the nation in points.
DAPRILE DIGS THE RECORD: Katie Daprile is now BU’s all-time leader for career digs and enters this weekend with 1,864. The 5-11 senior has put together two of the most prolific digs seasons in school history, posting a school-record 541 digs in 2008 and beating that with 556 digs last season. Her current career rate of 4.20 digs per set would also be a school record.
BU vs. THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS: Butler is 41-34 (.547) all-time against Green Bay and UWM. The Bulldogs are 28-7 all-time against Green Bay, and have defeated both teams once this season.
VERA SETTING IT UP: Gina Vera, who was named to the league’s all-newcomer squad last season, is averaging 11.81 assists per set during Butler’s last four league wins, up from her season average of 10.25. She had a season-high 57 assists in Butler’s 3-2 win at Green Bay on Oct. 10.
GIVING ‘MO’ THIS YEAR: Maureen Bamiro has been a key contributor to Butler’s 11-1 start. She is one of only three players in the Horizon League to rank in the league’s top 10 in three different categories (hitting, points and blocks). She has hit at least .250 in six of the last nine matches and had nine blocks in Butler’s win at UIC last weekend.
LESTER TRYING ANOTHER SPORT: Susan Lester, now a volleyball starter, was a standout basketball player for BU the past four years. The Anderson, Ind., native scored 1,275 points and grabbed 781 rebounds. The all-league hoops player, now in grad school, posted a career-best 15 kills in BU’s win at Wright State on Oct. 22.
UP NEXT: Butler will host Youngstown State and Cleveland State in the final weekend of the season. YSU comes to Hinkle Friday, Nov. 12 and CSU visits the next afternoon.