November 1, 2012

Bulldogs Host La Salle And Temple This Weekend

2012 Butler Volleyball

Butler (14-11, 4-7) vs. La Salle (4-23, 0-11) Butler vs. Temple (16-9, 6-5)
Friday, Nov. 2 - 7 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 4 - 12 p.m. ET
Hinkle Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, Ind. Hinkle Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, Ind.
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The First Serve

After its most successful weekend in league play this season, the Butler volleyball team can make a push in the standings this weekend at home against La Salle and Temple. The Explorers visit Hinkle Friday, Nov. 2 and Temple is at BU two days later at noon. 

With three matches to play, the Bulldogs are two games back of the sixth and final conference tournament spot. All three of BU's remaining contests are at home, and two of them are against teams with losing records.  

Butler had its first undefeated weekend of the season last week, sweeping both Fordham and Rhode Island. BU made its first trip to New York and out-lasted the Rams, highlighted by a thrilling 33-31 second set. The Bulldogs then made short work of Rhode Island, winning the last two sets by a combined 50-28. 

After hosting a La Salle team that hasn't won an A-10 match, Butler welcomes Temple Sunday at noon. The Owls lead the conference in both aces (1.48) and digs (17.76). The match will also pit Temple's dangerous hitters, Elyse Burkert and Gabriella Matautia, against the formidable blocking of Butler. BU is second in the A-10 in blocks, while Burkert and Matautia are second and third in the conference in kills, respectively.

Butler's leaders in hitting are Belle Obert (2.94) and Maggie Harbison (2.77). Erica Stahl (1.50) and Claire Randich (1.16) are among the A-10's leading blockers and setter Morgan Peterson is one of the league's best servers.

After this weekend's action vs. La Salle and Temple, the Bulldogs close the regular season vs. Saint Louis Saturday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m.

STANDINGS UPDATE: At 4-7, Butler has three home matches remaining. On Friday, four teams just ahead of Butler in the standings will play each other (Duquesne-Rhode Island, Fordham-GW). A 3-0 finish would likely get BU into the conference tournament, provided it ties GW or Temple. In that scenario, Butler would own the tie-breaker. 

SOMETHING ABOUT LA SALLE: The Explorers, 4-23 overall, are winless in conference play. They are last in the A-10 in every statistical category, save for digs. La Salle averages 15.72 digs per set, good for sixth in the conference.  

SOMETHING ABOUT TEMPLE: TU's strengths lie in attacking and serving. Elyse Burkert and Gabriella Matautia are among the league leaders in hitting. Matatutia and Jennifer Iacobini are the league leaders in aces. TU also boasts the A-10 leader in digs (Chelsea Tupuola). 

IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: Butler appears on the NCAA national leaderboard in blocks and aces. The Bulldogs are ninth in the nation with 3.00 blocks per set and 45th in the country in aces at 1.50. Individually, Erica Stahl stands 12th in the nation in blocks at 1.50 per set. Claire Randich is also in the top 100 in blocks (85th, 1.16).

BU ALL-TIME vs. THIS WEEKEND: Butler is unbeaten all-time against La Salle and Temple. BU owns an all-time 4-0 mark against the Explorers, with the last win coming in 2005. Butler defeated Temple three times in three tries during the 1990s. 

YOU'VE BEEN SERVED: Butler ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in service aces with 1.43 per set. Morgan Peterson leads the team and ranks ninth in the A-10 at 0.27 aces pet set. 

BUTLER ON THE BLOCK: The Bulldogs have four players (Erica Stahl, Claire Randich, Morgan Peterson, Maggie Harbison) who average better than 0.70 blocks per set. Butler owns a 14-5 record when winning the blocks battle. 

BIG HITTERS: Belle Obert and Maggie Harbison are BU's leading offensive players. Harbison owns team bests of 249 kills and 2.77 per set. Obert, who missed time due to injury in early September, averages a team-best 2.92 kills per set. Harbison owns five double-doubles and Obert has four. Obert's total of 19 kills vs. Coastal Carolina is Butler's highest single-match high this season. 

NEED TO KILL: Butler is a perfect 12-0 when having more kills than its opponent. The Dawgs are 2-11 when having fewer kills in a match.

BLOCK LEADER: Erica Stahl, a 6-4 Indy native who transferred to Butler from Cincinnati, ranks second in the A-10 and ninth in the country with 1.50 blocks per set. Stahl has posted 6+ blocks 11ß times this season, including three outings with 9+ blocks (at IUPUI, vs. SEMO, vs. Duquesne).  

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, when 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 victories 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 9.58 assists and 2.44 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.