2010 Butler Volleyball
Having clinched a top 3 seed in the Horizon League tourney, the Butler volleyball team concludes its regular season this weekend at home against Youngstown State and Cleveland State. With two wins, the Bulldogs can secure second place in the league and the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
Butler had its eight-match win streak snapped last Friday against Green Bay and then fell to Milwaukee on Saturday. In the process, the Panthers clinched the regular season title. Prior to last weekend, BU had won 13 of 14.
Butler will aim Friday night for its 12th league win against winless Youngstown State. BU defeated the Penguins, 3-0, back on Oct. 6 to start the eight-match winning streak. Saturday’s match against Cleveland State may have second place and a bye on the line. Butler also wants to avenge its only Horizon League road loss, a 3-0 defeat in Cleveland on Oct. 5.
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, points and blocks. As a team, BU is second in the league in blocks and third in kills. Butler is in the top 4 in every category of the league’s team stats.
Butler (17-9, 11-3) will play in the 2010 Horizon League Women’s Volleyball Championship in Milwaukee Nov 19-21.
LEAGUE RACE: Butler is now 11-3 in league play and controls its own destiny in regards to second place in the standings. Two wins this weekend gets the Dawgs a tournament bye. The team has already achieved an 11-1 start in league play under head coach Sharon Clark for the first time. 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 (4.05) and points per set (4.55). Last year, she led the league in both categories en route to first team All-Horizon League honors. Her current kills rate of 4.05 would rank as the eighth best season of hitting in school history. The Plainfield, Ind., native has 17 outings with at least 14 kills this season along with 13 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 was honored for the achievement last Saturday against Milwaukee.
WOLFE REGIONALLY AND NATIONALLY: Not only is Jessica Wolfe prominent among the Horizon League leaders, the 6-2 outside hitter has also garnered national attention. Wolfe was named AVCA All-Midwest Region and then captured honorable mention AVCA All-America honors last season and is currently 34th in the country in kills per set and 36th 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 1,906. 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 4.22 digs per set would also be a school record.
BU vs. THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS: Butler is 42-12 against YSU and CSU, including a perfect 20-0 record against the Penguins. The Bulldogs beat the Vikings in a 3-2 thriller last season, the key win to going 9-0 in Hinkle in 2009.
VERA SETTING IT UP: Gina Vera, who was named to the league’s all-newcomer squad last season, is averaging 11.46 assists per set during Butler’s last six league matches, up from her season average of 10.29. She had a season-high 57 assists in Butler’s 3-2 win at Green Bay on Oct. 10.
SENIOR SEND-OFF: Saturday’s match vs. CSU will serve as the team’s Senior Day. The senior class boasts a four-year record of 71-49 (.592) and has three winning seasons. Jessica Wolfe was Butler’s second AVCA All-American, while Katie Daprile is the school’s all-time digs leader. Jalesa Lee and Susan Lester have been starters in their volleyball careers.
GIVING ‘MO’ THIS YEAR: Maureen Bamiro has been a key contributor for Butler. 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 seven of the last 10 matches and had nine blocks in Butler’s win at UIC on Oct. 29.
UP NEXT: Butler will compete either as the No. 2 or 3 seed in the Horizon League Volleyball Championship in Milwaukee.