2010 Butler Volleyball
THE FIRST SERVE
The Butler volleyball team has the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in this week's Horizon League Volleyball Championship. The Bulldogs, who led the standings for several weeks during the regular season, will take on either Cleveland State, Valparaiso or Green Bay during Saturday's semifinal at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The tourney opens Friday with Cleveland State-UIC at 5:30 p.m. ET followed by Valparaiso-Green Bay at 8 p.m. ET. The tourney then re-seeds the teams in the semis, as top seed and regular season champ Milwaukee will play the lowest remaining seed. The Panthers will play Saturday at 2 p.m. ET, the day's early semifinal.
Butler enters the championship riding the momentum of having won 10 of 12 matches. BU swept Youngstown State last Friday and then hung a 3-1 loss on Cleveland State the next afternoon. Seniors Jessica Wolfe and Katie Daprile, playing at Hinkle for the final time, each had prolific weekends and capture the offensive and defensive player of the week award, respectively. Daprile also finished the regular season with 1,943 career digs, breaking the Horizon League career mark.
Butler had one of the season's key performances in its trip to Milwaukee back in October. BU was up 2-1 in the match when UWM edged out a 28-26 fourth set win. Butler held tough, winning 15-12 in the fifth set. It was Butler's first regular season win at Milwaukee since 1995.
The winner of the 2010 Horizon League Women's Volleyball Championship earns the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
LEAGUE RUNNER-UP: Butler finished 13-3 in Horizon League play, clinching second place and a first-round bye. It is Butler's highest finish in the league standings since finishing second in 2004.
ALL-HORIZON LEAGUE: Jessica Wolfe, Maureen Bamiro and Katie Daprile each captured All-Horizon League honors this season. It marks Wolfe's fourth postseason award from the league. She was all-newcomer in 2007 and has been an all-league pick 2008-10. Freshmen Maggie Harbison and Claire Randich were named to the league's all-newcomer team.
...4-TIME ALL-LEAGUER: Jessica Wolfe is one of four players in Butler volleyball history to be named All-Horizon League three times. Stacia Mellinger, Amy Pickett and Porshia Allen are the other three.
WOLFE THE TOP DOG IN HL: Outside hitter Jessica Wolfe leads the league in kills per set (4.09) and points per set (4.58). Last year, she led the league in both categories en route to first team All-Horizon League and AVCA honorable mention All-American status. Her current kills rate of 4.09 would rank as the fifth best season of hitting in school history. The Plainfield, Ind., native has 18 outings with at least 14 kills this season along with 14 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 175 wins, surpassing former coach Sharon Dingman's mark of 169. Clark was honored for the achievement on Nov. 5 against Milwaukee.
WOLFE IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: Not only is Jessica Wolfe prominent among the Horizon League leaders, the 6-2 outside hitter is currently 30th in the country in kills per set and 35th in the nation in points.
DAPRILE DIGS THE RECORD: Katie Daprile is now the Horizon League's all-time leader for career digs and enters this weekend with 1,943. Last week, she broke the HL career record of UWM's Lauren Felsing. 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 4.23 digs per set would also be a school record.
BU IN HL CHAMPIONSHIP: The Bulldogs are 5-10 in league tourney play since 2000, the last time they advanced to the championship match. Butler was the 4 seed last year and lost to UIC in the quarterfinal.
LITTLE OF EVERYTHING: In HL play, Butler is in the top four in every single category. BU is second in the league in hitting and third in assists, kills and blocks. BU is ranked fourth in opponent hitting percentage, digs and aces in league play.
RANKINGS IN LEAGUE PLAY: Jessica Wolfe is far and away the league leader in kills (4.11) and points (4.69) in league play. Gina Vera is second in the conference in assists (10.72) and Maureen Bamiro is second in hitting percentage (.305) in league only contests.
GIVING 'MO' THIS YEAR: Maureen Bamiro has taken her game to another level this season. She is the Horizon League's only player to rank in the league's top 10 in four different categories. She is second in blocks (1.10) third in hitting (.311), seventh in points (3.49) and ninth in kills (2.85).