Bulldogs Open A-10 Play At Dayton, Xavier

Butler Bulldogs

2012 Butler Volleyball

Butler (10-4) at #22 Dayton (8-4)
Friday, Sept. 21 - 7 p.m. ET
Frericks Center - Dayton, Ohio
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Butler at Xavier (7-7)
Saturday, Sept. 22 - 3 p.m. ET
Cintas Center - Cincinnati, Ohio
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The First Serve

The Butler volleyball team will be the first team at BU to play an Atlantic 10 contest when it travels to Dayton and Xavier this weekend. BU enters conference play having won four of its last five matches.

BU finished non-conference play with a 10-4 record, highlighted by wins over DePaul, Indiana and Southeast Missouri State. The Bulldogs' 10-4 record is currently tied for the second best in the A-10 with Temple. Only VCU (12-1) has a better non-conference record than Butler.

The Dawgs went 3-1 last week, sweeping Wright State and Kent State and pulling out a 3-2 comeback win over SEMO. Butler went 2-1 at the Butler Invitational, and junior Maggie Harbison and sophomore Belle Obert were named to the event's all-tournament team.

Obert (3.26 kills per set) and Harbison (3.08) are BU's leading hitters. Sophomore Erica Stahl is the A-10's leading blocker at 1.48 blocks per set. Sophomore Jadyn Yarling is Butler's leader in digs (3.49). The starting setter is junior Morgan Peterson, who averages 9.85 assists and leads Butler in service aces (17) and is second in digs (2.70).

Friday's match vs. Dayton will be a rematch of the NCAA first round contest between the Bulldogs and Flyers in 2010. UD won that match 3-0, but lost the next night to Ohio State. Butler played Xavier in 2010, falling 3-2 early in the season

Butler wil host the school's first A-10 home event when George Washington comes to Hinkle Fieldhouse Friday, Sept. 28. Duquesne then visits Butler Saturday, Sept. 29.

 

WELCOME TO THE A-10: Butler will be receiving an unwarm welcome to A-10 play, taking on 22nd-ranked Dayton in the Frericks Center. The two teams met at Dayton in 2010 in the NCAA Tournament. The Flyers hit .248 with 60 digs in a 3-0 win that lasted 82 minutes.  

LEAVING THE LEAGUE: Butler went 34-14 during its last three Horizon League campaigns, and won the 2010 league tournament title. That included a 13-3 record in 2010 and an 11-5 mark last year. In 12 years coaching in the Horizon League, Sharon Clark had a 99-77 record against league opponents.

IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: Butler appears on the NCAA national leaderboard in blocks and aces. The Bulldogs are 9th in the nation with 3.00 blocks per set and 19th in the country in aces at 1.64. Individually, Erica Stahl stands 14th in the nation in blocks at 1.48 per set.  

BU OVER IU: One notable non-conference win for Butler was its 3-1 win over Indiana. Following a loss to Stephen F. Austin, BU bounced back to handily defeat the Hoosiers 25-18, 25-20, 15-25, 25-14. Maggie Harbison had 16 kills in the victory, which was Butler's first over Indiana since 1996. 

BUTLER ON THE BLOCK: BU has been one of the nation's top blocking teams, averaging 3.00 blocks per set. In 14 matches, Butler owns a 10-2 record when winning the blocks battle.  

BLOCK LEADER: Erica Stahl, a 6-4 Indy native who transferred to Butler from Cincinnati, leads the A-10 with 1.48 blocks per set. Stahl has posted 6+ blocks seven times this season, including two outings with nine blocks (at IUPUI and vs. SEMO). She also made eight blocks vs. Coastal Carolina at Pittsburgh. 

DEFENDERS OF THE WEEK: In the last two weeks, Claire Randich and Erica Stahl have each been named Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Week. Randich was honored after she led BU with 1.82 blocks per set as Butler went 2-1 at the Butler Classic. Stahl was recognized for her play at the Butler Invitational, where she posted 1.79 blocks per set.

5-SET THRILLERS: Butler is now 4-0 in matches that last five sets, claiming wins over DePaul, Coastal Carolina, IUPUI and SEMO. Three of the four 3-2 wins saw Butler down 2-1 in the match only to come back to win. Butler led Coastal 2-1 before hanging on to win in five sets.

BU ALL-TIME vs. THIS WEEKEND: Butler is 29-20 all-time against Dayton and Xavier. Butler is 18-10 vs. UD, with its last win coming in 2004. BU has an 11-10 all-time mark against Xavier. 

BU vs. STATE OF OHIO: Over the last three seasons, Butler has gone 17-7 against schools from the state of Ohio. Those contests were mostly against Horizon League teams in addition to Kent State, Xavier and Dayton.

SET AT SETTER: Morgan Peterson, a transfer from Middle Tennessee State, has been a big reason for Butler's 10-4 start. Peterson is averaging 9.85 assists and 2.70 digs per set at the setter spot. In her Butler debut, the 6-0 junior was named MVP at DePaul and was also tabbed all-tourney at Pitt. Peterson is in the nation's top 200 in assists, digs and blocks.

LIBERO SOPHOMORES: Butler has two quality sophomores in the back on defense. Jadyn Yarling has started the majority of the time at libero. She had 49 digs in eight sets against SEMO and UC-Davis. Another sophomore, Brooke Ruffolo, has experience as well, earning 2011 Horizon League All-Newcomer honors last season. She had a season-high 23 digs in Butler's 3-1 win over Indiana on Sept. 8.