September 26, 2012

Bulldogs Host First A-10 Weekend At Hinkle

2012 Butler Volleyball

Butler (10-6, 0-2) vs. George Washington (4-12, 1-1)
 Friday, Sept. 28 - 7 p.m. ET
Indianapolis, Ind. - Hinkle Fieldhouse
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Butler vs. Duquesne (13-5, 2-0)
Saturday, Sept. 29 - 7 p.m. ET
Indianapolis, Ind. - Hinkle Fieldhouse
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The First Serve

The Butler volleyball team will be the first team to host an Atlantic 10 event when George Washington visits Hinkle Fieldhouse Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.The Bulldogs, who went 10-4 in non-conference play, will be looking for their first A-10 win.

Butler received a rough welcome in its first conference weekend, losing on the road at #20 Dayton and Xavier. BU played very well for two sets against the Flyers, splitting with UD heading into the break. Butler actually had a chance to be up 2-0, losing 26-24 and winning set No. 2 28-26. Dayton dominated the final two sets. Xavier then swept the Bulldogs the next afternoon. 

Belle Obert (3.13 kills per set) and Maggie Harbison (2.98) are BU's leading hitters. Sophomore Erica Stahl is the A-10's second leading blocker at 1.42 blocks per set. Sophomore Jadyn Yarling is Butler's leader in digs (3.26). The starting setter is junior Morgan Peterson, who averages 9.65 assists and leads Butler in service aces (20) and is third in digs (2.57). 

Friday's match vs. a 4-12 GW sets the Bulldogs against a team that has played an ambitious schedule. The Colonials have faced Pitt, Purdue, Northern Iowa, Wyoming, Tennessee, Maryland, Boston College, BYU and A-10 non-conference leader VCU. Duquesne enters the weekend with a 13-5 record and is off to a 2-0 A-10 start. The Dukes have played ranked teams Kentucky, Nebraska and Penn State. 

After this weekend's action against GW and Duquesne, Butler plays just once the following week. The Dawgs will be playing at Saint Louis Saturday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. ET. Butler's next home match is vs. Xavier on Oct. 19. 

 

A-10 HOME OPENER: The matches against George Washington and Duquesne mark Butler's first home weekend as a member of the A-10. In fact, Friday's contest will be the first home A-10 contest for all of Butler athletics. To celebrate the occasion, there will be a tailgate at Hinkle Fieldhouse starting at 5 p.m. 

LEAVING THE LEAGUE: Butler went 34-14 during its last three Horizon League campaigns, and won the 2010 league tournament title. That includes 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 HL opponents.

IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: Butler appears on the NCAA national leaderboard in blocks and aces. The Bulldogs are 17th in the nation with 2.87 blocks per set and 36th in the country in aces at 1.53. Individually, Erica Stahl stands 20th in the nation in blocks at 1.42 per set. 

BUTLER ON THE BLOCK: BU averages 2.87 blocks per set as a team, good for second in the A-10 and 17th in NCAA Division I. Butler owns a 10-3 record when winning the blocks battle. 

BU ALL-TIME vs. THIS WEEKEND: Butler is 2-0 all-time against George Washington and Duquesne. Butler beat DU twice in 1992, when both schools were members of the MCC (now Horizon League). Duquesne went back to the A-10 the very next season.  BU will be playing GW for the first time ever.

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.

BIG HITTERS: Belle Obert and Maggie Harbison are BU's leading offensive players. Obert, who missed time due to injury in early September, averages 3.13 kills per set. Harbison has a team-best 176 kills (2.98 per set). Both Obert and Harbison have posted four double-doubles, and Obert's total of 19 kills vs. Coastal Carolina is Butler's highest single-match high this season. 

BLOCK LEADER: Erica Stahl, a 6-4 Indy native who transferred to Butler from Cincinnati, ranks second in the A-10 with 1.42 blocks per set. Stahl has posted 6+ blocks seven times this season, including two outings with nine blocks (at IUPUI and vs. SEMO). 

DEFENDERS OF THE WEEK: Claire Randich and Erica Stahl have each been named Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Week. Randich was honored on Sept. 10 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 the next week, where she posted 1.79 blocks per set. 

5-SET THRILLERS: Butler is 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.

SET AT SETTER: Morgan Peterson, a transfer from Middle Tennessee State, is the starting setter. Peterson is averaging 9.65 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: Sophomores Jadyn Yarling and Brooke Ruffolo hold down the defense in the back for the Bulldogs. Yarling has started the majority of the time at libero. She had 49 digs in eight sets against SEMO and UC-Davis. Ruffolo was a 2011 Horizon League All-Newcomer pick last season. She had a season-high 23 digs in Butler's 3-1 win over Indiana on Sept. 8.