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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The volleyball team will host Wright State in a midweek contest on Tuesday, Sept. 10. This match marks the beginning of a long stretch of home games as the Bulldogs will play their next 12-straight matches inside Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Butler improved their overall record to 6-1 after going 2-1 at the Arizona Desert Classic. The Bulldogs tasted defeat for the first time this season with a 3-0 loss to the Wildcats on Friday night, but they bounced back with two 3-0 victories on Saturday with wins over Utah Valley and Eastern Kentucky.
Belle Obert has put together a great start to the 2013 season as she leads the team with 86 kills (3.58 per set). The junior outside hitter is a complete player who has also chipped in with 60 digs, 31 blocks and three service aces. She is currently third in the BIG EAST conference in kills, points, and blocks.
A majority of the matches for Butler during the 2013 season have ended in three sets. The Bulldogs are 4-1 in three set matches as five of the first seven have ended quickly. The lone four-set match of the year was a 3-1 victory vs. Morehead State in the second game of the Cincinnati Invitational. The only five-set match of the year came in the home opener vs. IUPUI when Butler came back with an impressive 3-2 victory.
Scouting the Raiders
Wright State enters Tuesday's match with a 3-6 overall record. The Raiders lost three-straight to open the 2013 season, but they ended their opening weekend tournament with a 3-0 victory over USC Upstate. A 3-1 loss to Northern Kentucky followed the WCU Invite, but the Raiders recently split four games at the Lafayette Tournament recording wins over Saint Peter's and Fairleigh Dickinson, but losing to Lehigh and host school Lafayette.
Wright State's single match against Butler will help prepare the Raiders for the Wright State Invitational which is set for Sept. 13-14 and the upcoming Horizon League schedule which begins on Sept. 27.
Heidi Splinter and Emily Meng are two impact players on the Wright State roster that will certainly play a role in Tuesday night's match. Splinter leads the club in kills with 122 (3.59 per set) and is also active defensively with 89 digs. Meng will be responsible for setting up Splinter and the rest of the Raider hitters as she leads the team with 365 assists (10.74 per set). Meng also has 59 digs to her credit to go along with eight service aces.
The Wright State Raiders serve as familiar opponents to Butler as the Bulldogs lead the all-time series 30-21. These two programs last met in 2012 with Butler earning a 3-0 road win over the Raiders.
From 2001 to 2011 Butler and Wright State would play twice a year as members of the Horizon League. The Bulldogs jumped to the Atlantic 10 in 2012, but kept the Raiders on the schedule as a non-conference opponent. Recent matches have helped Butler extend the lead in the all-time series as the Bulldogs have beat Wright State seven-straight times.
Randich Out for Season
Senior middle blocker Claire Randich will be sidelined for the rest of the season after tearing both her ACL and MCL in home opener vs. IUPUI. Randich got off to a great start to the 2013 season as she was recognized as an All-Tournament Team selection in the Cincinnati Invitational. She recorded 26 kills, 14 blocks and five service aces before the injury occurred.
The Bulldogs are leading the BIG EAST Conference in blocks averaging 3.17 per set. Erica Stahl is currently second in the BIG EAST averaging 1.58 blocks per set and teammate Belle Obert is in a tie for third with 1.29 blocks per set. The Bulldogs have three players in the top ten as Stephanie Kranda has also moved up with her average of 1.07 blocks per set.
Arizona Classic All-Tournament Team
Butler posted a 2-1 record in the Arizona Desert Classic as two student-athletes made All-Tournament Team. Setter Morgan Peterson and middle blocker Erica Stahl were each recognized for their outstanding individual efforts. Peterson averaged 9.11 assists per set during the classic and Stahl was a force up front recording 18 kills and 11 blocks (1.22 per set).
Butler will host back-to-back tournaments during the month of September. The Butler Invitational is set for Sept. 13-14 and the Butler Classic will follow Sept. 20-21. Illinois State, IPFW and Michigan State will participate in the Invitational and Green Bay, UT-Martin and Toledo will battle it out in the Classic.