Volleyball Opens League Play At Loyola, Valpo
2010 Butler Volleyball
The First Serve
The Butler volleyball team will open Horizon League play in the Chicagoland area this weekend, playing at Loyola Friday, Sept. 17 and at Valparaiso the next day. Both matches will be streamed live on the Horizon League Network.
Butler (4-6) is coming off a 2-1 weekend at its own Butler Invitational. The Bulldogs picked up 3-0 victories over UNC-Wilmington and Army before dropping a close 3-2 decision to Xavier in last Saturday’s final. BU led that match 2-1 and had a lead in the fourth set before falling victim to XU’s comeback. Senior Jessica Wolfe and junior Maureen Bamiro were named all-tourney in last weekend’s event.
Wolfe, an AVCA honorable mention All-America pick last year, is once again leading the Bulldogs. She leads the Horizon League in kills and points, appearing in the nation’s top 55 in both categories.
Valparaiso (10-1) and Loyola (6-4) are each off to a good start this season. They comprise two of the league’s four teams that currently own a winning record.
Following this weekend’s action, Butler will return home Friday, Sept. 24 to host Wright State.
OPENING LEAGUE PLAY: Butler has enjoyed success in league openers in recent years, winning its last three dating back to 2007. BU last opened league play at Loyola in 2003, winning 3-0.
WOLFE THE TOP DOG IN HL: Outside hitter Jessica Wolfe, named league player of the week on August 30, leads the Horizon League in kills per set (4.14) and points per set (4.53). Last year, she led the league in both categories en route to first team All-Horizon League honors. Her 4.01 kills rate last season was the eighth best season of hitting in school history. Of Butler’s last seven in-season tournaments dating back to last year, Wolfe has been named all-tournament in six of them.
WOLFE REGIONALLY AND NATIONALLY: Not only was Jessica Wolfe prominent among the Horizon League leaders, the 6-2 outside hitter also garnered national attention. Wolfe was named AVCA All-Midwest Region and then capture honorable mention AVCA All-America honors.Wolfe is currently 35th in the nation in kills per set and 52nd in the nation in points.
COACHING MILESTONES FOR CLARK: Sharon Clark is likely to reach the record for volleyball coaching wins at Butler this season. Now in her 11th season at BU, Clark owns 160 wins, just nine shy of Sharon Dingman’s (1992-99) record of 169. Last season, Butler’s 3-0 win over Alabama A&M on Homecoming was career victory No. 250 for Sharon Clark.
DAPRILE KEEPS DIGGING: Katie Daprile has 173 digs this season, and in the process has moved into fifth on Butler’s all-time digs list with 1,608. Daprile needs 29 digs to catch Laura Baire (1992-95) for fourth in Butler history. 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. She currently ranks fourth in the Horizon League in digs (4.68).
VERA SETTING IT UP: The setter on the other end of Butler’s attack success is sophomore Gina Vera, who was named to the league’s all-newcomer squad last season. The Joliet, Ill., native stood second in the Horizon League with 10.79 assists per set last season, and she finished 45th in the national assist rankings.
BU vs. THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS: Butler is 50-38 (.568) all-time against this weekend’s opponents. BU is 23-8 against Valpo and 27-30 vs. Loyola. The Bulldogs split against both schools last season, winning against each team at home and losing on the road.
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, had a career-high nine kills against Army and a career-high 12 digs vs. Xavier.
UP NEXT: Butler will host Wright State in its Horizon League home opener Friday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.